U-M summit to focus on shortage of medical technologies for children

The University of Michigan is hosting the three-day summit that will focus attention on the widespread shortage of medical technologies to help sick children.

The first-ever event, titled "Achieving Global Biomedical Innovation for Children," will convene experts from diverse sectors. Speakers will include corporate research and development leaders, government officials, scientists, researchers, doctors, and manufacturers. They will share pediatric product success stories, strategies for overcoming commercial barriers, and design solutions to emerging pediatric clinical markets. The summit is March 20-22 at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel. To register, visit https://pulse220.com/.

Because fewer children than adults get sick, companies have in the past projected a small profit potential for investment in pediatric medical device, diagnostic, and therapeutic research.

But research and development companies, manufacturers, and academic researchers have shown increased interest in pediatric product innovation in recent years. In addition, money set aside by Congress in 2007 has spurred pediatric medical device innovation among institutions around the country, including the University of Michigan.

In 2009, the U-M Medical Innovation Center's Pediatric Device Consortium, also known as M-PED, was awarded a $2.3 million grant from the FDA for pediatric device development. In 2011, M-PED along with its Roanoke, VA-based partner, the Pediatric Medical Device Institute (PMDI) was awarded an additional $2.2 million grant for device development. These grants have led to innovation and collaboration among institutions, which are in turn maximizing collaboration, expertise, data sharing, and research capabilities.

The March event will feature expert speakers in a variety of disciplines. Some are also expected to present on products that are currently in development for children. Speakers include:
* Dan Strauch, director of marketing for maternal infant care at GE Healthcare, has been involved in the development and marketing of products for the neonatal intensive care unit for 17 years.
* Richard G. Ohye, M.D., associate professor of surgery and director of pediatric cardiac surgery and pediatric cardiovascular transplant program at the University of Michigan, is an expert in pediatric cardiac device development, clinical research, and the importance of evidence-based medicine.

* Martin Bocks, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at U-M, is an expert in pediatric and adult interventional cardiac catheterization on patients with structural heart disease. His interests also include pediatric cardiac device development and animal model optimization for medical device testing. Bocks testified with others from the pediatric device consortia in Congress this month for a reauthorization of the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Reauthorization Act of 2012, which supports the continued development of medical devices for children.

* Susan Alpert, Ph.D., M.D., retired senior vice president and chief regulatory officer at Medtronic, who was responsible for the company's global regulatory efforts. Prior to joining Medtronic, Susan served C.R. Bard, Inc., as Vice President of Regulatory Sciences. She also worked at the FDA, where she held a variety of positions in the Centers dealing with drugs, devices and radiological health, and foods, including six years as the Director of the Office of Device Evaluation.

* Robert H. Bartlett, M.D., U-M professor emeritus of general surgery, is best known for developing the extracorporeal membrane oxygen machine, or ECMO, a modified heart-lung machine used around the world for patients with acute heart or lung failure.

*Daniel Teitelbaum, M.D., U-M professor of surgery at the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the Medical Director for HomeMed and MedEquip for the University of Michigan, has expertise in surgery for Hirschsprung's disease, ambiguous genitalia, short bowel syndrome, and intestinal failure. Teitelbaum has received an FDA grant trhough the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium for a bowel- lengthening medical device.

*James Geiger, M.D., U-M professor of surgery and pediatric surgeon at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, is a recognized expert in advanced laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery techniques and is co-founder and executive director of the Medical Innovation Center. He is developing and commercializing a number of medical devices and has been involved in global device innovation projects, including in international markets such as Uganda.


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