INTERVIEW WITH KURT REGNER, FOUNDING PARTNER AND PRESIDENT OF REGNER® AT REHACARE 2016
REHACARE is the biggest and most important trade show in the mobility sector. The four-day long 2016 edition of the fair brought together a total of 49,300 industry professionals and general visitors. 916 entities from 36 countries exhibited new information and devices designed to help people with reduced mobility as well as health care assistance solutions.
A significant majority of wheelchair manufacturers use actuators, actuator controllers and positioning sensors by REGNER®, given that our devices stand out for its reliability and attractive design. Indeed, some of our latest developments for wheelchair users were on display at REHACARE 2016, and the team visited the fair.
The Founding Partner of REGNER® and President, Kurt Regner, has over 20 years of experience in mechanical and electronic engineering, with a focus on the mobility solutions market. Throughout his career, he has witnessed great changes in the sector. Now, we discuss the trends of this market with him.
‘REHACARE is essential for innovation because it brings us closer to new trends and to the current needs of users’
Why is REGNER® attending REHACARE 2016?
Nobody wants to miss out on REHACARE. It is the place to be to get up to date on the evolution of the mobility sector. REHACARE is a hub for connecting people, launching new products, and inspiring new products for tomorrow. Moreover, it is an essential event for any R&D department, because it brings us closer to new trends and to the current needs of users. Of course, it is also a great opportunity to build new business partnerships and to strengthen current ones.
Based on your experience, what kind of products is in demand in the mobility market?
We are continuously involved in innovative solutions. Here, at REHACARE, we are launching our position feedback sensors. They increase the motion control options for the health care device manufacturers, because our sensors provide better control and accuracy for positioning systems. In collaboration with our customers, we have certainly brought about open innovation and built robust solutions.
How did you get involved in open innovation?
After over 20 years of designing, developing and rethinking new solutions for the mobility market, this strategic approach was just a natural step forward. During these years, our first concern has been to listen to our customers and constantly scan the ecosystem to better understand the changing health care environment. In other words, we like being proactive in coming up with ways to improve the lives of people with reduced mobility.
‘The secret lies in innovating together with our customers. This strategic approach was a natural outcome after over 20 years of developing new solutions for the mobility market’.
Following your deep market knowledge, what value do you give to your solutions?
The secret lies in realizing that the market no longer uses one single technology, but a plethora of technologies. Nowadays, solutions require knowledge of a variety of markets, technologies and materials. It is in this field that REGNER® can make a contribution, because of our experience in mechanical, electronic, and software engineering solutions. Our vision is more holistic, and that is why we have completed our team with personnel with multidisciplinary backgrounds.
What is the profile of your customers?
We have always worked for multinational companies, and we try to balance this dedication with SME. Additionally, 80 % of our clients are multinational companies, versus a 20 % of domestic customers. We also focus on two countries, the USA and Germany, which are certainly leading the innovation in med tech.
Finally, at REHACARE 2016, are there any indicators of what to expect in the market?
A move to value-based health care, tougher regulations and a lack of resources are all challenging health care companies. They now need to be more creative when developing new products and services. In this scenario, digital health is the most important trend in the mobility market. This new wave was made clear a couple of years ago, but it has been more visible at this edition of REHACARE. The sector is coming up with cross-mobility solutions that will feature advanced medical functions, working with remote communications, sensors, and big data.