It’s not always the best idea to do everything yourself. In the field of healthcare technology, clients and investors appreciate it when companies focus on their core competencies and outsource industrial product development and production to professionals. In this respect, Innokas Medical is the ideal partner.
“Our mission is clear. We want to help small health technology companies thrive and grow into medium-sized and large, successful businesses,” states Vice President Markku Nieminen, who is responsible for Marketing and Sales at Innokas Medical.
This mission is not impossible, because Innokas, a company specialising in the contract design and manufacture of medical devices, is a strong and respected partner in the field of medical device technology. The only company of its kind in Finland, Innokas has few competitors, even on the international market.
“We work for and have formed strategic partnerships with many of the leading brands and companies in the field. These include GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare and Elekta, for example. We also do an increasing amount of business with small companies that are just getting started,” says Nieminen.
Increasing emphasis on medical device development
Compared to many other industrial fields, the development of medical devices is associated with a large number of confounding factors that prolong the time to market. European directives, the standards of the US Food and Drug Administration, and the local regulatory requirements of many countries must be taken into account in the product development and production process, and everything must be appropriately documented.
“Innokas has been a manufacturer of medical devices for almost twenty years. In this time, we have learned all there is to know about regulatory and quality requirements. We initially focused on production and only offered supplementary engineering services. However, after reviewing our strategy three years ago, we established a separate business unit for medical device development services. It has grown robustly and currently employs 70 people,” states Markku Nieminen.
This arrangement was inspired by client feedback concerning the critical importance of proper design and product development. In Innokas’ experience, companies often do not place enough emphasis on these things.
“After launching their product, companies often think back and realise they could have invested a little bit more in product development. The more successful the product, the more likely this is to happen. Innokas is a master of medical technology, and we can now offer our expertise and services to our clients even better than before.”
Limited resources must be optimally used
In addition to being well engineered, products must be manufactured cost-effectively to be successful. Whether or not companies can manufacture their products themselves is irrelevant, in Markku Nieminen’s opinion. What truly counts is knowing how to optimally focus and use the company’s expertise and time. This is of critical importance, especially for small companies that are just starting out.
Nieminen believes that when resources are limited, they should be freed primarily for marketing, acquiring clients or conceptualising and developing new product versions, for example. Finding a partner to shoulder the responsibility for actual production is a smart move.
“In the field of manufacturing, just knowing how to make the product will not get you very far. The product will never be competitive if it cannot be manufactured cost-effectively. This requires product knowledge but also solid expertise in industrial production, i.e. material flow management, logistics, spare parts activities, maintenance and so forth. In the field of healthcare technology, it is also important to bear in mind that all production activities must meet the regulatory requirements of the European Union and all the countries to which the products will be exported. If the company possesses specific technological skills, handling that particular part of production internally is a good idea. However, finding a skilled partner to help with the rest of the production process is worth considering.
Clients like to know that the company’s product development and production activities are in good hands and that their quality processes meet the requirements. Investors appreciate it as well. It could even be what ultimately tips the scale in the company’s favour and results in a positive financing decision.
Innokas proudly serves clients of all sizes
Some of Innokas’ clients are established companies that have decided to outsource some of their development and production activities to Innokas. Reasons for fledgling companies to contact Innokas might include an outdated product concept that needs to be redesigned so that the technical implementation is in line with current requirements.
Typical clients also include companies that have developed some kind of prototype to test the effectiveness of a device. The product concept may be sound, but the client needs help turning it into cost-effective manufactured goods. The prototype might be as large as a suitcase, for example, and the client needs to shrink it down to a more reasonable size. The product’s usability and reliability may need to be improved, or its performance may need a boost. The cost-effectiveness of the production process may need to be optimised.
Innokas can provide assistance with all of these challenges.
Article by FiHTA – Healthtech Finland
This article is a part of Helsinki – cutting-edge life science hub theme that showcases Finland’s life science expertise. Helsinki hosts two major international life science events in September 2013.