Shaye Mandle, president and CEO of the Medical Alley Association, sat down to talk with us about the association’s vision to elevate Minnesota as the global epicenter of health innovation and care.
3M: What is Minnesota Medical Alley?
Mandle: Like Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle, Minnesota Medical Alley is a dense cluster of technology — in this case medical technology. Minnesota is the most concentrated health tech area in the country, with leaders such as 3M Health Care, Medtronic and Mayo Clinic.
3M: What does Minnesota Medical Alley Association do?
Mandle: We’re the largest health tech trade association in the country. We’ve been around since 1984 and have over 700 members. We lobby on behalf of the Minnesota med tech community, collect and publish data, gather thought leadership, develop training programs and more. This year we were honored to bring the annual Advamed conference to Minnesota.
3M: What’s your relationship with Advamed?
Mandle: Advamed is a Washington, DC–based association that promotes policies that foster high ethical standards, rapid product approval, appropriate reimbursement and access to international markets. I serve as chair of the association’s State Medical Technology Alliance. At Advamed’s request, we just hosted their 10th conference here in Minnesota. We collaborated on content, so the conference featured many Minnesota speakers.
3M: What were the benefits of the conference?
Mandle: Minnesota got some great recognition from national medical technology opinion leaders. We were able to show them that Minnesota is the place for med tech. Everyone is familiar with larger companies like 3M, UnitedHealth Group and Medtronic, but not everyone knows the smaller companies in the area. The conference gave a broad view of what Medical Alley is about: a magnet for talent, investors, press, publications and thought leadership.
3M: How did the conference benefit Minnesota and the community?
Mandle: As with any conference, there was a one-time economic boost to Minnesota. But the broader impact was that hosting the conference put the community on the map for leadership in health care and medical technology. It set the stage for Minnesota companies to be recognized as driving important changes in health care.
3M: What do you see as trends that will most impact the Minnesota health care community?
Mandle: The big challenge for every health care company today is the shift to value-based care and monitoring health outcomes. It’s difficult to change a business model without engaging all the players. Gathering the parties together gives us a chance to look at health care holistically. While there are sometimes competing interests, I think we can bring the community together, create a blueprint for health care and help shift the whole model.
3M: What do you see as 3M’s contribution to health care?
Mandle: 3M’s contribution to Minnesota Medical Alley is significant. No matter their age, regardless of whether they are healthy or unhealthy, people are engaged with 3M every day. Because of 3M’s broad-based technology, leading-edge science and innovative culture, I know their contribution to health care technology will continue to grow.