Jan Wolter; © private
COMPAMED.de spoke with Jan Wolter, Head of the Medical Technology Division at the trade association SPECTARIS, about the new medical technology service that supports companies in overcoming innovation hurdles in the future.
COMPAMED.de: Mr. Wolter, how did you come up with the idea of creating a MedTech Navigator, an Internet platform for medical technology companies?
Jan Wolter: The MedTech Navigator is a collaboration between SPECTARIS and the MasterMedia communication agency. The agency, which worked for many years in the area of health research for the BMBF (=German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), approached us with the idea of developing an information portal for the medical technology industry sector that assists companies in overcoming well-known innovation hurdles. The MedTech Navigator bridges a gap. We particularly want to help small and medium-sized companies to plot a path more quickly through the regulatory jungle. We assist in overcoming barriers during market launch and reimbursement for medical devices, help with research funding and in the search for partners for clinical trials.
COMPAMED.de: What support do you thus offer medical technology companies?
Wolter: The MedTech Navigator provides orientation by gathering important basic knowledge and links to further information and presenting it in a compact and clearly arranged way. The individual topics however are very complex and can actually not be comprehensively demonstrated by means of such a tool. Especially smaller companies will benefit from the MedTech Navigator, because they often already lack particular essential information and it can be very tedious to gather everything on your own. The MedTech Navigator thus saves companies a lot of hard work. On top of that, all information is provided at no charge on the web page.
The MedTech Navigator assists companies in overcoming well-known innovation hurdles; © panthermedia.net/Galina Peshkova
COMPAMED.de: What international information and supports were incorporated into the MedTech Navigator?
Wolter: The MedTech Navigator focuses on Germany. For research funding, we also refer to EU programs. However, we do not offer information on other markets. If you need assistance on this subject, do not hesitate to contact SPECTARIS.
COMPAMED.de: During the production and manufacturing of medical technology products, companies have questions that need answers. How can the MedTech Navigator answer these questions?
Wolter: The jungle of standards, laws and regulations indeed makes it hard for companies to focus on “their actual work“. Repeatedly, regulatory questions come up that can be very different depending on the company. That is why this is a point where a tool like the MedTech Navigator reaches its limits. Our association can help you with those questions.
COMPAMED.de: How individually can the MedTech Navigator respond to inquiries by medical technology companies?
Wolter: This was also one of the first questions we asked ourselves during the development. To be better able to respond to individual requests, we have therefore provided the opportunity to send concrete inquiries to us. We then communicate these to an expert, who can answer the question. The cost for this is minimal, which of course also means that there cannot be any comprehensive consultations. After all, we do not want to replace our association with the Navigator.
The interview was conducted by Diana Posth and translated by Elena O'Meara.