On September 1, 1939, German forces under the command of Hitler invaded Poland, marking the official start of World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Polish civilians were massacred, and much of the country, including 80% of the capital city of Warsaw, was completely leveled.
But the country, despite Nazi and Soviet occupation, recovered and flourished, and is now a growing central European destination. Of Poland’s many thriving economies, the medical technology sector in particular is significant, with an estimated market value of about $2.6 billion USD. Medgadget was invited to spend a few days touring several of Poland’s medical device manufacturers to get a better feel of the industry.
Our first stop was to Poldent, a 25 year old, family-owned company that manufactures endodontic tools. Though the company produces thousands of tiny bits and tips used for root canals and other procedures every day, it prides itself at maintaining the highest quality in every piece.
The machining tools, while automated and efficient, looked years behind some of the machining tools we saw at work during a trip to Fort Wayne several years ago. However, these machines, combined with a high amount of hands-on, manual cleaning and inspection, made the whole operation feel a little artisanal.
It was quickly evident that Poland prides itself in its dental industry: the country has over 23,000 dentists, and our tour included a visit to one of central Europe’s largest dental exhibitions.
Our second place to visit was to the Warsaw Regional Blood Center. While it may look like a typical blood bank, the donation center utilized many cutting-edge technologies. Read more about our tour of it here!
Our next destination was Poznań, a major Polish city located a few hours west of Warsaw. On our way, we paid a visit to Alvo Medical, a company that specializes in everything related to operating room layout and design. We had the opportunity to explore their “customer experience center,” a hands-on showroom of their products displaying what we think could be the future of operating room design. Click here to read more about our visit!
One story we learned during our trip was that during the rebuilding of Warsaw, Poles faced a major shortage of building materials due to the effects of the war. To contribute to the rebuilding effort, many surviving churches and buildings from the outlying towns and villages throughout the country, some hundreds of years old, were dismantled, and their materials sent to the capital city to contribute to the rebuilding effort.
It’s this similar sense of sacrifice, cooperation, and camaraderie that is evident in the health technology industry. We learned much about the various organizations that have been established to support medtech ventures, as well as the government initiatives to grow the industry. We witnessed how tight-knit and friendly the Polish medtech community was. And we, of course, experienced firsthand how wonderful the country of Poland is.
We’d say that Poland not only has a sizable medtech industry, but one that is also innovative and a world leader in many areas.
Medgadget wishes to thank the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the MTP Group for hosting us during our visit!