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Sourcing Meaningful Innovation in Medical Devices

Renee Ryan, Vice President of Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC (JJDC), is focused on maximizing investments in MedTech innovation that have the greatest potential to advance patient care.

We recently chatted with her about JJDC's breadth of Medical Device investments, what she looks for in start-ups and the future of Medical Technology.
What are the top three things you look for when investing in a medical device company?
1.      Great team – With a great leader that has the ability to inspire others.
2.      Breakthrough innovation – Not just an iteration of what already exists.
3.      Patient benefit – Solutions that advance patient care.
How has the Medical Devices landscape evolved over time, and what do you believe the future of Medical Devices will look like five years from now?
Over the last 20 years, we’ve been able to pivot from invasive technologies and less specific diagnostic tools to now evolve them to incredible solutions that change the paradigm of how we treat patients. 
From my perspective, I think we will see a trend towards less invasive and minimally invasive technologies with increased benefit to the overall healthcare system – not only increased benefit for the clinician but increased benefit for the patient, payer and provider all in one.
If you could give one piece of advice to MedTech innovators and entrepreneurs today, what would you tell them?
I would say keep going because I am really excited about what I am seeing.
I am tremendously encouraged by what’s happening in the marketplace today. I am seeing young companies use any and all methods to fundraise and minimize risk very early on, which is important for initial success and for securing additional funding later on.   Additionally, these companies are very judicious about how they use their funding, more so than five or 10 years ago - and finding scrappier ways to achieve success. I would also advise them to always keep in mind the value proposition they provide and how that translates to improving outcomes while reducing costs in today’s healthcare environment.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I have always wanted to own a restaurant.