German reseller Florian Holderer was dazzled by the smart needle

Ecumed’s CEO Florian Holderer emphasizes the importance of user experience and trust in the marketing of the IQ-Tip®​ smart needle.

Florian Holderer worked as a European Sales Manager six years in a medical device company until he founded his own company, Ecumed in 2011. “I learned about the medical device business and supported distributors all over Europe before I founded Ecumed. I was 31 at the time”, says Holderer who holds a Bachelor of International Business.

Ecumed specializes in a very narrow segment of medical technology retail. Such segments are anesthesia and thermal management technology used to treat patients in intensive care. Injeq is Ecumed’s newest supplier. Prior to Injeq, Ecumed already has a presence in five medical technology companies, including both smaller and international giants.

“The products of the companies I represent typically have a lot of competing products in the market. Injeq’s situation is unique in this respect; there are no competing products. It’s very interesting and also fun to work with a product that is completely new to the market and that people don’t know yet”, says Holderer.

As a medical technology company enters a new market, it will begin to identify suitable partners as distributors. The collaboration with Ecumed began the other way around. “Before my visit at Medica 2021 in Düsseldorf I was actively looking for new innovative products and I found Injeq’s IQ-Tip® smart needle that made a huge impression on me. I met Seppo Lautamäki, Injeq’s Sales Director, at Medica and we signed a cooperation agreement in December”, says Holderer.

According to Holderer, the first steps in the joint journey have been set in motion. “I have received a lot of support, Clinical Application Specialist Maarit Forsten from Injeq has been with me at the congress in Leipzig and in Aachen. This is a strong indication of Injeq’s commitment”, Holderer praises.

Chaining of clinics and fierce price competition

There are about 1 900 hospitals in Germany, 40% of which are privately owned. The number of hospitals has decreased over the last ten years. The price level of medical products in Germany is reasonably low and healthcare salaries are too. There are a lot of hospital chains in the market, which is why purchasing processes are centralized; this naturally affects the price level of medical equipment.

While the benefits of the IQ-Tip® smart needle are clear, the price of the smart needle is a challenge in Germany. Despite the price challenges, the reception among German doctors is enthusiastic: “Why has there never been such a product?” comments were heard at the Leipzig congress.

Holderer has a clear vision of this year’s goals. He does not disclose the numerical goals, but wants to get the first regular users of the IQ-Tip® smart needle and thus a documented user experience, which is vital when the product is marketed to physicians. The benefits of the smart needle have been demonstrated in clinical trials in Finland, but research data based on user experience in German hospitals is a great way to convince German doctors as well. In Germany, the smart needle is already in use in six hospitals including three university hospitals.

According to Holder, the medical technology market requires patience. In practice, this means test use in hospitals, where research is carried out and benefits of the technology gathered. Trust is earned gradually with patience.

 

This article was originally published in the Injeq newsletter. Subscribe to the Injeq news on the front page

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