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San Antonio Life Science Executives Plan Medtech Product Workshops

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — A life sciences professional development and advocacy organization has plans to host four medtech-focused workshops that aim to teach people working in the sector about different aspects of bringing a medical device to market.

Called “Bedside to Bench to Bedside: Developing and Clinically Introducing Medical Technologies,” the workshop series is being hosted by The Health Cell, a life sciences and healthcare-focused group that was founded in 2013 by three San Antonio industry executives. The workshops aim to improve how savvy the local workforce is about the process of developing a medtech device, such as a diagnostic or a medical product, according to Pratap Khanwilkar, one of three local medical device executives teaching the sessions. The first workshop is Oct. 17, and the three others are in November, January, and February.

By better training people in the industry—be they nurses, doctors, executives, lawyers, or students—to be more knowledgeable about the full process of developing a sellable product, Khanwilkar says it makes them more attractive candidates for open positions at companies like InCube Labs, a medical device and drug development incubator. Khanwilkar is InCube’s San Antonio-based vice president of product. The two other executives leading the workshops with Khanwilkar are Kris Kieswetter, a senior director of research and technology at medical device maker Acelity, and Teresa Evans, the director, of the career development office at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“Everyone knew their functional expertise pretty well, they just didn’t know how they fit into the big picture of taking a medical device from concept to clinical,” Khanwilkar says about when he first started looking for employees at InCube. “We want people who have not only depth but also breadth.”

The workshops, first reported about by the Rivard Report, cost $150 and about 20 people have applied to participate, so far. The organization is accepting applications (found here) through the end of August. You don’t have to work in medical devices to attend the workshops, Khanwilkar says—the public is welcome to apply. They are also open to people outside of San Antonio, he says.

The idea for the workshops has a connection to Khanwilkar’s previous job at the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining InCube in 2015, he was the director of a program at the university’s engineering school that identified and funded research that had commercialization potential (called the Coulter Translational Research Partners II Program, which is one of 14 nationally). They hosted similar classes there.

Khanwilkar is a board member of The Health Cell.