Merivaara’s hospital furniture is widely known and appreciated. The company’s latest innovation is an integrated operating room management system, which is currently available for the international market as well.
In the summer of 2009, a truck containing an in-built model of an operating room made a tour of Finland. This road trip was an idea of Merivaara, a renowned Finnish manufacturer of hospital-grade furniture. A few years earlier, the company had decided to start developing solutions to facilitate image management and control in the operating room. As Merivaara’s business operations revolve around the concepts of customer-centricity and ease-of use the company decided to put these key operating principles into practice by bringing the test environment to the clients and asking them for input.
“Up until that point, Merivaara was mainly a supplier of hospital furnishings, such as hospital beds, stretchers, trolleys and operating tables. Our product portfolio did not include software systems then. After the road trip, we launched a massive product development project, which has yielded outstanding results. The new OpenOR management system, which was developed in close collaboration with our partners, has been referred to as the most user-friendly system on the market,” states Josefin Hoviniemi, Head of Marketing and Communications at Merivaara.
Merivaara’s portfolio of operating room equipment currently includes an impressive selection of products from operating tables to ceiling pendants and medical lights. In Hoviniemi’s opinion, OpenOR is the company’s crowning achievement. This open architecture system enables image management and control of equipment, such as surgical table, lights and cameras, in the operating room from a single touch screen.
According to client feedback, OpenOR speeds up the workflow in the operating room. As the system facilitates the utilisation of telemedicine, such as real-time remote consultation, it also improves patient safety. Even those employees who tend to feel uncomfortable around new technology have praised OpenOR’s easy installation and user-friendliness.
A strong brand paves the road for international success
Merivaara’s business activities have enjoyed steady growth. Chief Executive Officer Vesa Vihavainen believes that this is attributable to the company’s long history and strong brand. Merivaara is well known for the high quality of its products. They are durable, ergonomically designed and user-friendly.
“We export approximately 90 per cent of our products. One shipment was recently sent to Bhutan. Merivaara’s headquarters and production facilities are located in Lahti, Finland, but we also have subsidiaries in Sweden and Norway and a sales organisation in Russia. We have distributors in over one hundred countries worldwide, and Merivaara is the recognised market leader in many of those countries,” explains Vihavainen.
Merivaara was founded 110 years ago, so international politics have had a distinct effect on what counts towards exportation and domestic sales. In the early years, St Petersburg was an important market area for the company. However, those business deals counted towards domestic sales because Finland was still a part of Russia at the time. According to Vihavainen, Merivaara currently considers the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Russia part of its domestic market.
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.