Players in the medical technology industry in Kaunas, “We have a good imagination and are constantly developing it”
Med-Tech business is one of the prioritized and high-potential sectors in Kaunas. The potential for the development and growth of this sector is created not only by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) and the University of Lithuanian Health Sciences (LSMU) but also by the synergy of medical innovation companies already operating here, business and science partnerships, and talented specialists living in Kaunas. One of them is the Vaizduotė UAB, which has united developers of innovative technologies, currently working on promising technologies not only in the field of medicine but also in the field of defense.
The company’s prehistory began with startup developers who had worked in the Med-Tech industry for more than a decade and developed innovative medical technologies. One such startup was Vittamed – a company, which, along with Professor A. Ragauskas and his team developed and refined the non-invasive neuro-diagnostic technologies. This was followed by the successful implementation of several technology development projects funded by the European Commission, NASA, DLR (German Space Agency); the clinical trials were carried out in Lithuania, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and the USA. Finally, after the company attracted an investment of 10 million dollars, its management moved to the United States, and the company was renamed Boston Neurosciences Inc. and Lithuanians, encouraged by the success, decided to undertake other interesting projects, the ideas of which have been on their minds for some time.
Imagination is the key to innovation
“We decided to use Vaizduotė UAB for the development of innovative technologies, after all, such things definitely require imagination (lt. vaizduotė). The team members brought not only their management or certification experience but also engineering and technology development experience that they had accumulated over the years, as well as electronic systems (hardware and software), precision mechanics, robotics and mechatronics, sensory and signal processing with complex algorithms, machine learning, and similar competencies,” Edvardas Satkauskas, Head of Vaizduotė told us about the first steps of the company.
Starting as a technology development company specializing in the development of medical equipment, sensory systems, and robotics solutions, the company, along with the partners, is currently developing interesting and promising technologies not only in the medical field but also in the field of defense.
Kaunas attracts with its competencies and exceptional infrastructure
When asked what makes Kaunas favorable for this type of business, E. Satkauskas first mentions competent academic partners that have the infrastructure and provide education for the future (and existing) employees. “Our field requires interdisciplinary technological and medical competencies and exceptional infrastructure. We have two strong universities in Kaunas – KTU and LSMU – and their underlying science and technology development trends best meet the needs of our company. In addition, these competencies give birth to more and more startups, which, in turn, need more services from different industries (prototyping, laboratory research, clinical research, design, materials, etc.). As the whole ecosystem expands in this way, the city is gradually becoming a better place for the Med-Tech industry, where objective competencies are concentrated. I think that this trend is very promising. It creates great added value for both Kaunas and the whole Lithuania.”
Wide range of projects
The company cannot speak about all the technologies it develops. Some technology development services provided to foreign clients cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality agreements. But among the openly presented examples, you can find futuristic-sounding projects and ambitious innovations. For example, a robotic system for vascular surgery is being developed with a partner Inovatyvi medicina UAB, which has only one real competitor in the market (Siemens bought it for 1,1 billion euros last year) as well as several competing technologies.
“We are doing very well so far. We think that we are on the right track and we are investing a lot in this technology,” E. Satkauskas smiles.
Another project is an innovative UV light therapy device for psoriasis treatment, which is being developed with Emplastrum UAB. Currently, there aren’t any such devices on the market. In collaboration with Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos, a smart lighting solution for the surgical field as well as the orthopedic splints produced using the 3D technology are being developed. The company also cooperates with LSMU, Med-Tech startups; technologies for national defense are being developed.
“What drives the company forward? What is encoded in its name: imagination,” E. Satkauskas claims.
“We have a good imagination and we are constantly developing it. We are currently investing a lot of time and money in the development of prototypes, so, of course, in the future, we hope that they will turn into products and generate a solid return.”
The team believes that the technologies developed by Vaizduotė will become future success stories, which, in turn, will stimulate the development of new technologies and products. And it sees the company itself as a kind of Med-Tech incubator, where innovative technologies are born, which later turn into innovative products.