Judging of each year's MDEA competition is conducted by an impartial, multidisciplinary panel of expert jurors—comprised of a balance of clinicians, engineers, and designers—who carefully review all of the submissions and narrow them down to a select group of exceptional products in each of the 10 Medtech categories. The jury panel typically encompasses medtech professionals from a wide range of healthcare and design related fields, including clinical practice, biomedical engineering, human factors, industrial design, manufacturing, and other areas.
Members of the MDEA jury are selected each year by a panel of editors from Informa Markets. Such independence and impartiality is a leading reason for the industry wide acceptance and success that the MDEA program has enjoyed. MDEA jurors—past and present—have set a high standard for judging excellence and fair competition.
Lance Black, MD
Medical Device Innovation Lead, TMC Innovation Institute
As medical device innovation lead, Lance Black focuses on the resident companies of TMCx by supporting their efforts in developing innovative healthcare technologies. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he completed a residency in family medicine with additional training in aerospace medicine. He deployed twice during his service, first as chief of the medical staff at Manas Transit Base in Kyrgyzstan, and then as a squadron flight surgeon in Okinawa, Japan. During his time in Manas, Black helped to create a mobile modular medical facility aimed at uplifting the surrounding defunct healthcare system. In Japan, he responded to in-flight emergencies and orchestrated protocols ensuring the safety of F-22 pilots and their crew. Black’s work with wounded warrior amputees during his military career and his background in biological engineering prompted him to refocus his efforts from patient care to the design and development of medical devices. Following the completion of his commitment to the military, Black attended Georgia Tech’s Masters of Biomedical Innovation and Development program to include one year in their Masters of Industrial Design program. Black earned his bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from Louisiana State University, a medical degree from LSU Health Sciences Center of New Orleans, and an MBID from Georgia Tech.
Andra Blomkalns, MD
Vice Chair of Academic Affairs and Business Development, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Medical Liason to the Office for Technology Development, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Andra Blomkalns, MD, joined the UT Southwestern team in April 2015 as the vice chair of academic affairs and business development in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also serves as the medical liaison to the Office for Technology Development. Her experience includes basic laboratory research and clinical research with a focus on cardiovascular disease, obesity, and dietary influences on health and disease. Her interests also include technology development, evaluation, and improvement.
Director of Operations, Nectar Product Development
After earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Stacie began her career as a medical device engineer and quickly transitioned into management. She has over 18 years of experience in cross-functional team leadership, Lean/Six Sigma in manufacturing and product development, and setting breakthrough strategies.
Stacie has travelled the United States as a High Performance Management System consultant, implementing the management style at various companies creating breakthrough change across all aspects of medical device organizations. She brought her passion for creative leadership with her when she joined Nectar.
As Director of Operations, Stacie leads Nectar Product Development's multi-disciplinary design and engineering teams. She holds teams to high standards of excellent user experience, integrated design and engineering, and focused design for manufacturing. Across the business, she is responsible for delighting clients, motivating employees, and assuring profitable business success.
Expert Associate Partner, Health + Medical, McKinsey Design
With her integrated background in medicine and industrial design and over 25 years of global work experience, Stephanie is uniquely positioned in leading through the complexity of device and procedure development in the healthcare space. Her deeply rooted appreciation for human centered design and the unlimited potential of innovation in the medical field has made her a specialist in first-to-market projects, as well as all aspects on projects ranging from before proof-of-concept to validation and commercial release.
Director of Clinical Arrhythmia Research & Innovations, Texas Heart Institute
Mehdi Razavi is the Director of Clinical Arrhythmia Research & Innovations and a practicing electrophysiologist at Texas Heart Institute. He has founded multiple medical device startups including: Saranas, a smart cardiology sheath, and Nanolinea, conductive nanotechnology for the treatment of arrhythmia. Additionally, Dr. Razavi has supervised the development of a number of technologies in collaboration with Rice University, UCLA and Texas A&M and has over 20 patents to his name. Dr. Razavi attended medical school at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He subsequently completed his residency, cardiology fellowship, and electrophysiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn State University School of Medicine for one year prior to moving to Houston where he holds the same title at Baylor College of Medicine. He has been the lead or senior author of several manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals in the field of cardiac electrophysiology, has authored a textbook chapter on the mechanisms of sudden cardiac death and has given many presentations in the field of pharmacological treatment of arrhythmias. Dr. Razavi is involved with numerous clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cutting edge technology in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. He is Board Certified in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology and has been in private practice in the Texas Medical Center at Hall-Garcia Cardiology Associates since 2004.
Associate Teaching Professor, Rice University
Eric Richardson joined Rice University in 2013 to teach medical device design, strengthen academic-industry partnerships, and create curriculum in medical technology development for global markets. In 2015, he became the founding director of the Global Medical Innovation Masters Program and associate director of TMC Biodesign, a fellowship program that offers venture formation curriculum to create digital health and medical device startups. Prior to 2013, he was a principal R&D engineer at Medtronic Heart Valves in California, where he led teams in the development of transcatheter heart valves. Richardson has a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Bryce Rutter, PhD
CEO, Metaphase Design Group Inc.
Bryce Rutter is a renowned specialist in ergonomic product design and the leading worldwide expert in the design of handheld products. His portfolio of work includes robotic surgical systems; powered and manual instrument design; drug-delivery systems; disposables; mobile and wearable devices; personal care products; food and beverage packaging; and custom sensory, usability, and consumer insight research programs. His company, Metaphase, has and continues to define new product categories, rejuvenate sleepy brands, and develop innovative designs that fit like a glove for several of the world’s most prestigious and influential brands and start-ups. Metaphase has received more than 120 International Design Excellence Awards, been awarded more than 100 patents, and has had several designs inducted into the Chicago Athenaeum’s Good Design Museum Collections, as well as two designs selected by Museum of Modern Art. Rutter has been a speaker at several global conferences, has published numerous articles, and is a vocal advocate for a user-centered design innovation strategy and brining dignity to the design of medical products.
Clinical Instructor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
Alexei Wagner is the Assistant Medical Director and Clinical Instructor of Surgery in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. He leverages mobile health technology to address global health problems and works with both startups and large corporations to design successful user experiences.
Engineer, Swope Design Solutions
Stephanie Whalen is an accomplished mechanical engineer with extensive product development experience in medical device and consumer electronics. She has guided companies, from startups to multinational corporations, in every stage of the product development and production cycle. Specializing in R&D, Whalen has developed home health systems, wearable patient and practitioner measurement devices, therapeutic (ablation) and diagnostic electrophysiology catheters for AF and VT, inpatient and outpatient surgical aids for many types of treatment, and surgical trainers. Whalen currently works with team of mechanical engineers and product development consultants, Swope Design Solutions, in San Francisco. Whalen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Master of Business Administration certification.
Section Head, Division of Engineering, Mayo Clinic
Mark Wehde is section head of technology development within the Mayo Clinic Division of Engineering. His group specializes in technology innovation and medical device development. He is very familiar with the entire process, from ideation and early feasibility studies through clinical trials. While Wehde’s responsibilities include personnel management, staffing and recruitment, strategic planning, process improvement, project evaluation and prioritization, academic and industry collaborations, intellectual property, technology investigation, and project management, his love is innovation—solving new problems in new ways. Wehde has been a core member of the team that developed the Division of Engineering's quality system and is also the sponsor and a member of the Engineering Project Safety Subcommittee and the reprocessing and biocompatibility workgroups. In addition, he is a member of the Mayo Midwest Medical Device Sterilization and Disinfection Oversight Group, he holds a faculty position in the Quality Academy, and is a new facilitator in the Office of Leadership and Organizational Development. Wehde is also a reviewer for the IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications. He received a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration through the University of Wisconsin.
Michael E. Wiklund
General Manager of Human Factors Engineering, UL
Michael Wiklund serves as General Manager of the human factors engineering (HFE) practice at UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Previously, he founded Wiklund Research & Design, a human factors consulting firm that UL acquired in 2012. He has over 30 years of experience in human factors engineering, much of which has focused on medical technology development—optimizing hardware and software user interfaces as well as user documentation. He is a Certified Human Factors Specialist and Licensed Professional Engineer. He is author, co-author, or editor of several books on human factors, including Writing Human Factors Test Plans and Reports for Medical technology Development, Usability Testing of Medical Devices, Handbook of Human Factors in Medical Device Design, Medical Device Use Error – Root Cause Analysis, and Writing Human Factors Plans and Reports for Medical Technology Development. He is one of the primary authors of today's most pertinent standards and guidelines on human factors engineering of medical devices: AAMI HE75, IEC 62366-1, and IEC 62366-2. In addition to leading UL's human factors engineering practice that now includes over 60 HFE and user interface design specialists, he is a Professor of the Practice at Tufts University where he teaches graduate courses on HFE, including applying HFE in medical technology development.