Intersection-Inc.'s, Kel Davison recently attended the 10x Medical Device Conference and made a new friend, Joe Hage, the event's charismatic organizer for over the past nine years. Kel expressed, "It was impossible to not deeply engage, learn and laugh at this event." Joe's candor and humor level set the energy and kept everyone feeling connected. When Kel asked Joe what his formal title was, Joe replied, "The Man." Enough said. Kel asked Joe to share his insights about the medical device industry and his thoughts on the future.
(Kel) Tell us your name, the nature of your work.
(Joe) As a consultant, I specialize in marketing strategy and communications, lead generation, and website development for medical device and related companies.
As a publisher, I lead MedicalDevicesGroup.net and the Medical Devices Group (350,000+ members) on LinkedIn.
As a conference producer, I host the 10x Medical Device Conferences.
(Kel) Next year will see your tenth 10x Medical Device Conference. Congratulations. How have the conversations at the conference changed since the first one?
(Joe) Back in 2013, all anyone could talk about was the medical device tax. In fact, Senator Amy Klobuchar was on our very first panel. (The event was in Minneapolis.) Today’s topics range across the industry, from fantastic artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to everyday, “how can I sell more product” type topics.
(Kel) Based on your experience and continued involvement, what unique challenges do you see facing the medical device industry as we look down the road to 2030? What advice would you give to others on preparing or approaching those challenges?
(Joe) Embrace change. It’s coming with or without you. Miniaturization, data, connectivity, all topics we hear about and think people are working on: They will be very real for medical device manufacturers who thrive.
(Kel) If not well designed, user adoption of a new device can be its biggest demise, even when it utilizes the latest technology. As a Human-Centered Design Thinking (HCDT) practitioners, we focus on mitigating that risk. Where do you feel HCD might have the greatest impact in the medical device industry?
(Joe Hage) I appreciate the question but have no proprietary insight on this. From a marketing strategy and communication standpoint, however, I’d offer the earlier clients bring HCD talent to bear on projects, the better. Of course, having sufficient observations and feedback about how the product is performing is worth the investment of time and money.
(Kel) Why is the 10x Medical Device Conference different from other medical device industry conferences?
(Joe) This year, I had a new insight about the event. Most attendees are smaller manufacturers and consultants (like me), I suspect, because 10x offers a deeply connected, medical device industry network.
Relatively few major medical device manufacturer employees because, with thousands of colleagues and relatively abundant resources, those professionals may not value a “deeply connected medical device network.” They may feel already have that – without ever leaving their building.
Alumni know, I’ll (a) find speakers and topics that (b) engage, not bore or self-promote, and (c) attract guests who “buy in” to the 10x philosophy: We are a community. Don’t attend to sell; attend to connect. When you come with the mindset, “I’m open to helping everyone else while helping myself,” you’ll leave saying this is the most satisfying event you’ve ever attended.
(Kel) Thank you, Joe. I look forward to attending the event next year. No one puts on a conference like you!