Categories: Newsroom

State’s Medical Device Sector Gets First New Leader in 23 Years

Journalist, founder of MassDevice, to head MassMEDIC

Brian Johnson (left) at the 2017 MassMEDIC Annual Conference.

(BOSTON, July 17, 2018)—Furthering the growth and vitality of the region’s only organization dedicated to supporting the key medical device sector, the board of directors of MassMEDIC today announced that Brian Johnson will become the second president in the group’s 23-year history.  Johnson, a Brookline resident, is the co-founder and editor of MassDevice.com, the online journal of the med-tech industry.

In September, Johnson will succeed Tom Sommer, who has led MassMEDIC since its founding in 1996. The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council is the largest regional medtech association in the U.S., with over 300 members representing manufacturers, product developers, suppliers, research institutions and academic health centers.

“Brian’s knowledge of our local medical device sector, its strengths and opportunities, and his experience in media and outreach make him the perfect choice to be the next leader of MassMEDIC,” said Jonathan Rennert, the CEO of ZOLL Medical and the chairman of the MassMEDIC board.  “I want to thank and congratulate Tom Sommer for his outstanding leadership over the past 23 years building MassMEDIC from the ground up.”

Since its start, MassMEDIC has been an aggressive advocate for and advisor to the region’s medical device sector. The organization has represented the medtech industry’s views to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), held periodic policy and regulatory briefing sessions and generally helped the industry cope with the current healthcare environment’s focus on demanding higher quality at lower cost.

“Whether it was fighting against the unfair medical device tax, promoting our jobs growth reports or bringing key FDA executives to see us in our region, MassMEDIC has been a partner at the side of medtech in our region,” Sommer said.

Johnson started MassDevice.com in 2009, and it has since become the leading online journal of the medtech industry, providing day-to-day coverage of the medical device sector with over one million readers. Johnson has been responsible for the strategic vision of the company from inception through present day, including its acquisition in 2015 by WTWH Media.

“I’m very excited to be chosen for this position. It’s truly an honor to help serve this industry, which is vital to our region, our economy and our healthcare system. Twelve years ago, I conceived the idea of a daily news source for the medical device industry, while sitting in the back of the MassMEDIC Medtech Showcase, and now I will have a chance to shape the future of this organization,” Johnson said. “I hope to continue the work MassMEDIC has done in forwarding the issues that are vital to the success of the health technology eco-system in New England, as well as expand the scope of our mission, to include new initiatives that will make sure this industry gets the credit it deserves as a driver of world changing innovation,” he added.

As publisher, Johnson spearheaded the growth of MassDevice from its early start to 100,000+ readers each month and led the company to profitability in just three years. In 2011, Johnson conceived and launched DeviceTalks, a live-interview series featuring leaders in medicine. The event, which is held three times annually in Boston, Minnesota and Orange County, California, has attracted thousands of medical device executives to date and featured leaders from some of the world’s largest medical technology companies. Since 2015, Johnson has also founded and launched two additional magazines, Medical Design & Outsourcing and Drug Delivery Business News, bringing total readership under his supervision to over 1.3 million.

Under Johnson’s direction, MassDevice and its associated properties have been widely recognized for their commitment to quality journalism. The editorial boards of the New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have cited MassDevice’s coverage of issues pertaining to the medical device industry. In 2012, MassDevice won a prestigious Communicator award in 2012 for excellence with its live web video series, “Disruptors.”

An experienced reporter and author, Johnson has worked for The Associated Press, Boston Globe digital and The Eagle-Tribune newspaper, covering business and economics, local government and crime.  In 2017, his first novel “MWD: Hell is Coming Home” was released by Candlewick Press.

Johnson graduated from Emerson College and has a master’s degree in business journalism from Boston University.