Recap of the 2019 SEMDA MedTech Conference


April 8, 2019 marked the kick-off of the annual Southeastern Medical Device Association Conference, otherwise known as SEMDA MedTech. The event was designed as a platform for fostering medical device innovation and bridging connections between investors, start-ups and early growth stage companies, and service providers. Acorn had the privilege of participating as a proud sponsor and featured panelist in the highly educational and exceptionally well-organized event held at the Hotel at Avalon—a luxury boutique hotel encompassing the quintessential “Southern charm” elements—located in Alpharetta, GA. This was a three-day event which brought out the who’s who of the region’s MedTech community. 


Day one commenced with an exciting series of pitch-rounds in which a select group of hopeful entrepreneurs were granted the opportunity to present their business models before judges and on-looking conference attendees. The series progressed into the subsequent days, truly setting the precedence for the activities to come and rousing the energy and spirit of innovation within this sprouting Southeastern medical ecosystem. The evening dinner and cocktail receptions also provided the proper setting for intimate, quality networking to transpire.


Days two and three were lined with highly stimulating and relevant information sessions. An assortment of topics were covered ranging from critical factors for market success to cyber security. Acorn’s very own Benjamin Chia, Chief Design & Marketing Officer, had the chance to impart his vast expertise while leading a discussion panel on User Experience.

UX Panel Overview:

The panel was an introduction to the user experience design process as applied to developing human-centered medical products which improve treatment experiences and interactions between patients, family members, and caregivers. Most have heard of UX often in the context of software—this discussion expanded on the reality that UX also applies to interactions with physical products and the way in which people move through environments. It is a human-centered mindset which teams can leverage to develop cohesive service interactions that incorporate a mix of hardware (industrial design), on-device software interfaces (UI/ wireframing), websites, branding, and environmental design, all in service of better treatment outcomes. Experience with physical product design translates into a holistic consideration of interface design, particularly when a tight integration between hardware and software is required.

The panel was shared with Paul Fitzpatrick, CEO of Advance Catheter Therapies, Rupen Patel, Chief Strategy Officer at Healthgrades, and Paul Giannesch, Managing Principal and Founder at Hatch Medical.


All in all Acorn was pleased to take part in this experience, a true celebration of medical product excellence. We look forward to future events and uniting with others as dedicated as we in supporting the development of the innovations making hedgeway for advancements within the healthcare industry.

For further information on SEMDA, visit


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