Innovation to the Bone – Irish Life Sciences Companies at Orthopaedic Summit

Innovation to the Bone – Irish Life Sciences Companies at Orthopaedic Summit

Enterprise Ireland and a wide range of Irish life sciences companies have been attending the Medical Innovation Summit at the Cleveland Clinic for several years now, and despite super storm Sandy, 2012 would be no different.

The 10th annual Medical Innovation Summit took place at the end of October in Cleveland, Ohio and although the subject matter changes annually, the caliber of discussion, attendees and networking opportunities remains strong.

Irish companies such as X-Bolt Orthopaedics are an example of an Irish company with an innovative solution in the orthopaedic space – but with key opinion leaders, surgeons and decision makers from all areas of the US health care system attending the summit, Irish software, health technology, tele health and service companies all travelled to Cleveland, Ohio.

Despite the political gain associated with making references to the state of Ohio in the recent Presidential race, it should not be seen as a surprise that both President Obama and the challenger paid homage to the Cleveland Clinic in the first debate. Renowned for its efforts in technological innovation, the Cleveland Clinic was once described as the “Toyota factory” of the US health care ecosystem by Newsweek. With an annual spend of $450 million on research and development –  over 20% of their entire expenditure – it is easy to see why the Cleveland Clinic could be considered as the innovation epicenter of the US health care system.

There was no doubt that the summit was an innovation epicenter for the duration of the summit this October.

The event began with a special break-out session for the delegation of Irish attendees in the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center– a location where Irish companies Rigney Dolphin, Creganna-Tactx Medical and Proxy Biomedical have used to launch their US activities, increase exports to the US and ultimately create employment back in Ireland.

This year, the special breakout session for Irish attendees centered around a discussion on the purchasing process at large medical centers from Sean Lyden, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Supply Chain Management at the Cleveland Clinic.

Reduce cost, increase access and improve quality – the holy trinity for anybody involved in purchasing in the US health care industry. As far as the Cleveland Clinic or any other large medical center is concerned, if a vendor cannot demonstrate at least two of these features in their solution, then succeeding in the US is almost impossible.

While many Irish companies in the past have focused on a finding a large medical center as their first reference customer in the US, it is widely recognized that selling into such organizations can be a complex and time-consuming process. Ohio-based, management consultant Mark Saffran argued that targeting critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, nursing homes and assisted living centers are all alternative market-entry strategies that Irish companies should consider when looking at the US health care system.

With the special breakout session complete, over 1,000 CEOs, venture capitalists, innovators and health care leaders ascended on Cleveland for the start of the main summit.

With a dedicated exhibition space and platinum level sponsor exposure, Enterprise Ireland’s participation in the Medical Innovation Summit allows Irish companies to identify new business, partnership and collaboration opportunities.

Higlights of the summit included addresses from Kevin Lobo, CEO of Styker, Omar Ishrak, CEO of Medtronic and David Dvorak, CEO of Zimmer. Not to be outperformed by some of the leaders in orthopaedic technology, Watson – IBM’s supercomputer capable of answering questions posed in natural language – made a triumphant return to the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit after devouring a number of leading cardiovascular surgeons in a game of Jeopardy! last year. This time Watson was back to announce that he will be attending medical school in an effort to learn everything your doctor knows and more. Primary care physicians everywhere beware…

Pictured above is the Bank of America Conference Center in the InterContinental Hotel on the Cleveland Clinic campus.

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