Product development: Being well-provided

Interview with Rainer Landich, CEO, HotSwap Deutschland GmbH

Medical devices are not made overnight. Even before they reach clinical studies, their development takes years. During this time an initial idea is developed to a blueprint and then to a prototype. Manufacturers are often not able to accomplish this on their own, especially not the smaller ones. Luckily, there are consultancies that have specialized in this field.


Photo: Rainer Landich

Rainer Landich; ©HotSwap Deutschland GmbH

In this interview with, Rainer Landich explains why one-stop product development and maintenance are so important and what role snow shovel and spade play.

Mr. Landich, why should manufactures of medical technology trust a one-stop provider during the whole lifecycle of a given product?

Rainer Landich: Consistency is important. There are usually project handovers between different phases. This happens during the whole lifecycle. These interfaces become smoother when there is a one-stop provider who already knows the topic. Alternatively, if we only deal with a product during a certain phase, a good handover is important. Sometimes it can still be difficult to transport knowledge from "head to head" during the handover. This is why manufacturers benefit from choosing a one-stop provider for their product. This provider knows the whole background and is also able to change the product much more easily at a later point, should this be necessary.
Photo: Mindmap product development

A lot of different facets make up the process of product development. If a one-stop provider takes care of this process, the interfaces become smoother; ©

HotSwap has worked for many different projects in medical technology as a consultancy. How does one achieve such a broad portfolio?

Landich: The question is always: How broadly do you work in your field and how deep can you enter into it? I like to compare this to snow shovel and spade. We are working the field of medical technology in all of its width. This is like the snow shovel: It is broad, but it does not go deep. We know how to do this because medical technology is based on regulations and usages that are the same for everyone. We know these very well. But we also know the processes around the usage in hospitals and at home, we know the requirements of medical staff, physicians and health insurance companies. They also rule the field in all of its width.

But by working on some problems, we have also entered deeper into certain topics, like soft and hard implants for example or breathing and ventilation. These cases are like the spade: We know the relevant, typical questions that are connected with certain products and can tell with every customer: How much experience do we have which is necessary to fulfill this assignment?

HotSwap has internationally been active for 15 years now, in Germany for nine. Why did you decide to come to COMPAMED as a new exhibitor this year?

Landich: It was clear to us that we needed to attend the international trade fair. I have known MEDICA for 30 years. I already went there as a student and I was impressed by the size and the spectrum every time. And COMPAMED has established itself as a marketplace for component suppliers and service providers over the years, too. This is exactly where we belong.

We have been co-exhibiting at the booth of Schleswig-Holstein at MEDICA for the last years. This year, we will have our own booth at COMPAMED for the first time. This means that we will be much more visible – also for potentially new customers. This is why I am looking forward to be at COMPAMED for the first time this year.
Foto: Timo Roth; Copyright: B. Frommann

© B. Frommann

The interview was conducted and translated from German by Timo Roth.