We’re about to start an exciting journey. We’re on the road through The Netherlands finding out what ‘medical technology’ actually means and what we can and cannot expect in the coming years. What are the unique selling points of the Dutch medtech companies and research institutes? Should we have a lot of separate initiatives or one nationwide focus? Our road-trip has a quite different start as we imagined. As the corona-virus pandemic is taking over the world and our personal lives, we make a more digital road-trip. Staying healthy and at home is more important now then hitting the road. Those days will come again.
Back to medtech. Is there more to gain in cure or in care applications? When do we call a robot a robot? Why is that even relevant?
While on the road in mind, I’m wondering whether I myself have wrong expectations of the medtech field. I’ve noticed a lot is possible. I’ve seen it in The Netherlands and abroad — one of the benefits of working at a global company like maxon. Every now and then I catch myself thinking: Why isn’t X or Y not yet resolved? We can do Z! Or: Why are people at four different locations working on the same subject, shouldn’t we concentrate at one place, The Netherlands is so small… (or as best-selling author Karin Slaughter once put it: “The Netherlands is basically a bunch of small towns.”)
Our journey starts in the southern part of The Netherlands, the birthplace of the Dutch high-tech industry. A region with a rich history in high-tech with shrunken giants like Philips and rising stars like ASML and NXP. But also more constant power factors like DSM — once started as Dutch mining company, now active in nutrition, health and sustainable living — all thriving well in this part of our country. All started and grown in other markets than healthcare, but nowadays it’s almost unthinkable for a company not to have a medical business unit. What makes this market so attractive? We all know the news items about rising healthcare costs and the necessity to invest and need for automation and robotization. But is it perhaps possible that the cause of the rising costs is just that, all the progress and automation?
Together with Link Magazine we hit the road and get in touch with medtech companies, we’re about to discover what they do, want and need in the future to meet society’s expectations and needs. We’ll be looking for unique characteristics of the regions and take a closer look at the relations between businesses and research institutes.
I’m already sure that we will hear beautiful stories and see remarkable technology. That we’ll meet inspiring people and that I’ll probably end up with more questions than answers.
That’s why I’m really excited and can’t wait to hit the (digital) road!