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2015 MDEA Judging Process and Criteria

Judging of each year’s MDEA competition is conducted by an impartial, independent, multidisciplinary panel of medtech expert jurors—comprised of a balance of clinicians, engineers, and designers—who carefully review all of the submissions and narrow them down to a select group of exceptional products in each of the eleven medtech categories.

Unlike other design competitions, the MDEA Jury is comprised of a mix of practicing doctors, nurses, and technicians alongside industrial designers, engineers, manufacturers, and human factors experts. The jury panel typically encompasses experts from a wide range of healthcare- and design-related fields, including clinical practice, biomedical engineering, human factors, industrial design, manufacturing, medicine, and other areas. Members of the MDEA jury are selected each year by a panel of medical industry editors from UBM Canon’s Medical Content Team and from the MDEA’s sponsoring publication MD+DI magazine.

MDEA finalist and winning products must not only pass design and engineering excellence, manufacturing effectiveness and innovation, but also clinical efficacy and overall benefit to the medical and healthcare industries. When reviewing the products, the jurors consider all of the following criteria:

  • Innovative use of materials, components, or processes in the fabrication of the product.
  • The ability of the product development team to overcome design and engineering challenges so that the product meets its clinical objectives.
  • User-related design and engineering features that improve healthcare delivery, with special attention to functional innovations that broaden the scope of users, change traditional medical attitudes or practices, or offer significant use-related improvements.
  • Design and engineering features that provide enhanced benefits and improved ease of use to the patient and HCP (e.g., comfort, fit, service access, safety, appropriate aesthetics, overall improvement of healthcare).
  • Aspects of product design and engineering that improve the manufacturer’s profitability.
  • Product features that improve the overall delivery of medtech.

Over the three-day judging period, teams of jurors evaluate all of the year’s entries and narrow them down to a select group of exceptional products in each of the 11 categories. The multiphase judging process culminates with the entire jury convening to hear each team of jurors present its finalist selections. The jurors may select at their discretion as few as none to as many as 6 finalists in each category that they deem worthy of a possible award. The full jury conducts an in depth open discussion of all finalists in each category, and then votes to determine the products that will be designated MDEA award winners.

The MDEA jury may assign up to one Bronze, one Silver, and one Gold-level award in each category. The jury will also award “Best-in-Show” to one of the Gold-winning products. Although it is generally expected that there will be only one Bronze, one Silver and one Gold winner in each category, this decision is left to the discretion of the judges. The jury may elect to present as many or as few awards as it deems merited by the quality and number of entries, irrespective of category. Awards may also be offered in additional subcategories as determined by the jurors.

The decision of the jury shall be final.

UBM Canon and members of the MDEA jury panel reserve the right to investigate and confirm any information presented in an MDEA entry. UBM Canon reserves the right to withhold or withdraw awards given for any product whose entry is found to be inaccurate. UBM Canon reserves the right to clarify or amend the rules and procedures pertaining to the MDEA competition at any time. For complete competition rules, please refer to the Official Rules.

Finalists of each year’s MDEA competition are formally notified during March. However, public announcement of the finalist products is embargoed until the May issue of the competition’s sponsoring publication, MD+DI (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry) magazine. Companies are not told whether their entries are winners until the official announcement in June at the MDEA Winners Ceremony held in conjunction with the Medical Design & Manufacturing East event ( in New York.

For complete details about the MDEA Judging Process and Criteria, as well as Juror Selection and Nominations, including a downloadable Juror Nomination Form, please continue to review the Judging and Jurors section of this website. If you don't find the information you are looking for, please contact a member of the MDEA team via e-mail at

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