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Too often we define the Medtech sector by the number of dollars raised, IPOs helped or companies sold. But the focus neglects the very foundation of the sector - the People. Join the Medtech Talk Podcast each week to hear from entrepreneurs, investors and executives who spend their days developing the tools that make sick people well and health care more efficient.



Dr. Aaron Kaplan — Still Making Music, A Clinician’s Perspective on Innovation

December 20, 2021

 

Dr. Aaron Kaplan has several startups and many years of cardiology practice under his belt, and he is uniquely positioned to give a physician’s perspective on the medical device startup space and how big ideas actually impact the clinic. As a practicing interventional cardiologist and Director of Clinical Research, Heart & Vascular Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Kaplan is intimately aware of the challenges facing cardiology today and the needs facing both patients and their care providers. And as an entrepreneur and inventor, he’s learned to maximize his role in the startup arena. “The role of the doc is not to design the device, but to define the problem,” Kaplan told Medtech Talk. Kaplan says he brings ideas to the table “that often violate one if not two of Newton’s laws”, but he has learned to hand them over to creative engineers and others with diverse perspectives. While, as a physician, he alone answers for all the care decisions that were made for a patient, as an entrepreneur, he instead builds multidisciplinary teams with competencies that are divorced from medicine. One of the biggest differences between the two roles, Kaplan says, is that entrepreneurs must learn to accept failure. In speaking with Geoff Pardo, Kaplan employs a physician’s traditional habit of postmortem assessment of one of his previous startups, candidly breaking down the problems in the market approach, the trial strategy, and the leadership structure—valuable lessons for him—and others—to apply to future projects.

 

Aaron Kaplan, MD

Professor of Medicine

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Founder & Chairman, Conformal Medical

Dr. Kaplan is a practicing interventional/structural cardiologist and a medical device entrepreneur.  Aaron supervises cardiology fellows and lectures regularly at the Tuck School.  In addition, he directs the Clinician-MBA Scholars Program at Dartmouth.  Prior to Dartmouth, he was Director of Interventional Cardiology at the Palo Alto VA/Stanford University.  Dr. Kaplan has authored >75 peer-reviewed papers and serves on the Editorial Board of Cardiac Catheterization & Intervention and J Soc Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions. Aaron is an active entrepreneur who has been on the founding team of a number of companies including Conformal Medical, Tryton Medical, LocalMed and Perclose (acquired by Abbott).  Dr. Kaplan is on the Board of Cairn Surgical and was an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Three Arch Partners.  Aaron has authored 60 U.S. Patents and was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors (Class of 2015).  He received a BS in Engineering Sciences (Cum Laude) from Tufts University, MD from Wake Forest University, medical training at Northwestern University and cardiology training at Stanford University.

Meet Our Host, Geoff Pardo

Geoff has been in medtech for over two decades in both operational and investment roles. He is passionate about the industry potential and sharing stories from the front lines of innovation.