Munevo is a German MedTech startup that developed the Munevo Drive, a smart glass based solution that helps people with disabilities to get mobile independently. With its intuitive operation, the patients are able to control their wheelchair with only head movements, improving their life immensely. Being an innovation that transforms the everyday life of people with disabilities, Munevo decided to look into the potential of the Dutch market. In order to validate its value proposition and to get a sense of the B2B market potential, Munevo teamed up with MedScaler to perform an initial market exploration in the Dutch healthcare market, where more people with disabilities can contribute from this innovation.
In order to give more insights about this inspiring innovation, MedScaler interviewed Markus Englmeier, the Marketing & Communications Manager at Munevo.
How is your innovation revolutionising healthcare?
“There is a large number of wheelchair users worldwide who are no longer able to use their hands to control the wheelchair due to various diseases. As a result, they are dependent on special controls and other people. Previous, mainly mechanical, solutions are not only uncomfortable and stigmatizing, but have also barely changed in the past 20 years. Munevo has developed the first wheelchair control based on Smartglasses. In addition to controlling the wheelchair, we are now able to control a variety of devices. And that only by moving the head. We enable users to access smart technologies. In this way, munevo DRIVE is developing more and more from a special control system for wheelchairs to an everyday assistant.”
What is your founding story? How did you come up with this innovation?
“It was a fortunate coincidence. During a project at the Technical University in Munich, we had the task to find a solution to improve mobility based on Smartglasses. A team member had done his civil service in a home with many wheelchair users. Thus the idea was born to improve the quality of life of wheelchair users.”
Why are you interested in entering/exploring the Dutch market? or Why did you choose to include The Netherlands in your next market entry strategy?
“First of all, Holland is a very innovative country, for which, due to the EU, no further certifications are necessary. Furthermore, the reimbursement process differs strongly from Germany. With less regulation and less bureaucracy, we hope to enter the market faster. The low language barriers and regional proximity contribute to this. But, and this should also be mentioned, we have already been able to get a wheelchair manufacturer from Holland interested in our product, who will support us with the launch.“
What is the next milestone for your company?
“The next milestones for Munevo are the strengthening of its market position in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as the expansion to other European markets. Furthermore, we will have many more product features ready by the end of 2020 to enable users to become even more independent in their everyday lives.”
What is the most valuable tip about innovating healthcare that every entrepreneur could learn from?
“Founders should look very early for an expert in the field of MedTech because the requirements for certification and approval of medical devices are very extensive. And, and this is the most important point in the planning process, in the end everything is twice as expensive and takes twice as long as planned…”