In many energy-storage applications, the top desire is to maximizing power output: how fast can we get that Formula E car to go? How much weight can that mining truck carry? The focus for batteries used in medical applications are different: They power often tiny devices, intimately close, if not physically inside, its user—whose health and life may depend on its functioning reliably. Any battery maker who wants to go into the medical marketplace has a lot of learn first.
At the same time, medical technology developers face a learning curve of their own when a new application is ready to beyond the CAD file to the real world, as the range of options for powering the device can be dizzying.
Both energy experts and medical device developers have a lot they can learn and teach each other—if only there was a venue in which to do so.
And now there is. On February 6–8, 2023, the first annual Medical Battery Conference will be held as part of MD&M West at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The conference will bring together participants from leading private and public companies, start-ups, investors, academics, and businesses that are interested in the medical battery field. Participants will discuss technological innovations and business opportunities, with presentations covering the latest updates in the field.
To organize the event, IME (parent organization of the event as well as Battery Technology and MD+DI) turned to the expertise of longtime battery-industry consultant and expert, Shmuel De-Leon, CEO of Shmuel De-Leon Energy Ltd. Battery Technology spoke to De-Leon about the intersection of the battery and medical-device fields and what attendees can expect.
Given your knowledge of the battery industry, what would you say are the most important things about it that medical device makers need to know and often don’t know or understand?
Shmuel De-Leon Energy Ltd. CEO Shmuel De-Leon: Medical batteries need special attention on performance, safety and cost—they are divided to several segments: implementing devices, capsules, devices carried over the body, and portable devices as well as stationary for hospitals. To pass FDA device approvals, certifications are needed as well.
In recent years we’ve seen progress on battery technologies and miniaturization that allow solutions for new medical devices. My own presentation will discuss this at the conference.
What are distinguishing aspects about working with medical manufacturers that make them different to work with than other industries?
De-Leon: Since medical devices require FDA approvals, there is a need to carefully show safety testing certifications, keeping records on safety events, and build up fast response service in case something untoward happens. From a legal perspective, there is a need to be more sensitive to the possibility of recalls and prepared for any turn of events.
What recent or coming-soon developments in battery chemistry/technology look particularly promising for medical applications?
De-Leon: Miniaturization and energy-density increase—as I will discuss.
What are some of the presentations you are most excited to see?
De-Leon: The tutorial on implantable batteries from Genesee research; new trends on medical batteries by RRC and Inventus power; requirements on medical batteries by Jacu battery—and many other important presentations on the conference agenda. Outside the presentations themselves, the conference be an excellent platform for networking and business.