February 6–8, 2024
Anaheim Convention Center,
Anaheim, CA

MD&M West has developed into one of the leading medical device trade shows in the United States. Inspired by the lifesaving solutions and innovations that companies all over the world push to evolve, MD&M West’s mission is to unify the international medical device community together to support the growth of their company objectives and push the boundaries of the medical field to save and improve lives across the globe. MD&M West features products and insights across medical specialties such as medical devices, digital health, hospital equipment and supplies, cardiovascular solutions, pharmaceuticals, and much more.

KEYNOTE: Transforming the Future of Patient Care with Human Machine Interfaces (HMI)

Wednesday, February 7 • 9–10 AM

In this keynote, Samproni will share her vision for the growing role that human machine interfaces (HMI) will play in the future of medical device innovation. With the human experience becoming inherently more digital and connected — consumer devices and applications now manage a wide range of tasks for users every day — Samproni will focus on how medtech companies can approach product design to remain competitive. Beyond utilizing HMI to create innovative medical devices that meet consumer expectations, she says they should also take a closer look at how it can transform the future of health and patient care.

MDB: In the context of medical device innovation, how do you emphasize the growing role of Human Machine Interfaces (HMI)?
Jennifer Samproni, Chief Technology Officer, Health Solutions, Flex Ltd.

Jennifer Samproni: The human experience — and the way we interact with products — is evolving. With every passing year, the human experience becomes more digital and more connected. This has clearly been the case with consumer devices, which we increasingly rely on every day to accomplish a wide range of tasks, from shopping to exercising to maintaining our homes.

When it comes to maintaining positive health outcomes, it’s important that our medical devices do not lag behind. Today’s consumers have come to expect easy-to-use, connected devices with data-rich features and appealing, interactive interfaces. At the same time, wearable devices have led to increased expectations around wearable, lightweight technology as part of their fitness and/or health monitoring routines. In this new reality, it will be critical for device manufacturers to develop devices that integrate seamlessly into patients’ lives.

Beyond ensuring that innovative medical devices meet consumer expectations and aligns with their current reality, medical device manufacturers need to take a closer look at human machine interfaces (HMI) in order to transform the future of health and patient care. HMI, which gives humans the ability to operate as controllers for machines, plays an integral role as the medical technology industry transforms and creates and delivers innovations that are smarter, more connected to improve healthcare and patient lives.

MDB: What challenges and opportunities does the increasing digital and connected nature of the human experience present for medtech?

JS: Healthcare systems and providers are under more stress than ever before. The industry is still experiencing aftershocks from the pandemic and the associated impact on staffing while at the same time being tasked with the care of an aging population with increasing rates of chronic disease. When combined with the emergence of a more digital and connected populace, it has become clear that there is a desire for more patient-centric care. In parallel, there is a pressing need to reduce the stress and burden on overworked healthcare providers.

Recent research has found that between 170 million and 230 million Americans could be living with one or more chronic conditions by 2030. Connected devices — particularly those with intuitive designs that integrate seamlessly into our routines and actions — already play a crucial role in our daily lives and can help address many of these conditions. From continuous glucose monitoring systems to wearable vital sign monitors to sleep support devices, intuitive design and HMI makes these products easy or even automatic to operate, which makes them “stickier” with end users. This is an enormous opportunity and must be a guiding principle when designing medical devices. They should be designed from concept to production with the goal of making our lives easier, healthier, and more efficient without adding more steps or complexity.

To support consumer demand and market trends, healthcare companies must ensure that at the design phase, HMI, and the overall user experience is taken into consideration to ensure more resilient and innovative products. By anticipating the opportunities and challenges of a more connected, digital world and ensuring that devices slide seamlessly into the end user’s life, medical device manufacturers can gain a competitive edge while delivering an improved patient experience.

Finally, medtech companies must continue to learn from both within their own industry and from other highly regulated industries, adopting best practices to confidently design and architect products with the utmost level of security. For example, Flex is a member of the Project Centauri partner ecosystem, and we continue to refine and apply these standards to healthcare and connected medical device applications to deliver quality, security, and seamless connectivity.

MDB: How can companies navigate these changes in their product design strategies?

JS: Medtech companies must prioritize agility and resilience when developing product design strategies. What does this look like in practice? First and foremost, medtech companies need to view the product design phase through a lens of future-proofing. What happens if critical materials or components face availability, production or shipping delays? What are the potential regulatory risks or sustainability requirements down the road? The point of view has to be broader than “how can I develop or iterate a device that solves a medical problem.”

This is where working with an advanced manufacturing partner with relevant expertise, a truly global point of view, and advanced technology solutions designed to help with these challenges can make an enormous difference. Additionally, by partnering with a manufacturer serving a diverse group of industries — particularly faster-turn industries like consumer electronics — medtech companies can leverage best practices from other industries and put themselves in a better position to adapt and innovate more quickly.

MDB: Can you provide specific examples or insights that illustrate how HMI can contribute to the transformation of health and patient care?

JS: There are a number of examples that point to the impact of HMI on better outcomes and patient care. Every time we partner with a medtech customer, our goal is to improve the user experience as well as patient outcomes. HMI is the key to accomplishing those goals.

One example that jumps to mind is Flex’s development of a voice-controlled autoinjector demonstrator to enhance dose-delivery for the patient. The device pairs with a smartphone app, which guides the user with step-by-step instructions. The autoinjector’s HMI design, which provides prompts when needed and allows voice activation to “start” and “stop” the injection directly, addresses users’ issues with pressing buttons on autoinjector devices. By focusing on elegant, user-friendly HMI solutions, we can provide more intuitive and user-friendly experiences for patients who require ongoing management of chronic conditions.

MDB: One of your highlighted topics is the importance of designing innovative, future-proof medical devices. Can you share some specific considerations and strategies for achieving this goal, particularly in the context of addressing the needs of an aging population and patients facing chronic illness?

JS: Patients facing chronic illness and the growing aging population both need easier, faster, and reliable access to quality care so that they can effectively manage their ongoing health conditions and mitigate adverse outcomes. Connected devices hold immense promise to address many of these challenges — but keeping HMI front and center at the beginning of product design is crucial to ensure these devices are intuitive and accessible for all end users.

I mentioned the criticality of future-proofing earlier. To expand further, future-proofing is an important exercise in the product design phase to minimize technical obsolescence and other negative impacts from future risks. Designers must prioritize standard components to avoid future supply chain issues, instead of defaulting to iterative designs that rely on legacy electronics and healthcare grade plastics. Products should also be designed with redundancy in validated components that can be accessed through a localized supply chain so that companies can respond quickly to changing dynamics.

It is also important to consider the number of parts in a product and component durability. Fewer parts can reduce the risk of supply chain impacts, while using more robust components that are easily maintained can enable companies to minimize spend on field calls and simplify the path for customers to repair devices on their own. Additionally, products that are built to last reduce environmental impact — and some healthcare products can be reused and refurbished to maximize value.


February 6 and 7 • 8–9 AM

Connect with like-minded professionals in advanced manufacturing at keynote networking breakfasts. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee, pastries, and meaningful discussions with peers. This intimate environment serves as a launchpad for a day of insights, challenges, and solutions presented by renowned experts in the field. Build relationships with potential partners and connections you’ll meet on the show floor. Immerse yourself in valuable discussions and gain access to key insights that will shape your understanding of advanced manufacturing. Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your network and knowledge base in a focused, professional setting.