Innokas Medical Oy, specialized in contract design and manufacture of medical devices, and Swedish listed health care technology company Elekta AB (plc) have entered a cooperation agreement. The multiyear agreement is significant for Innokas Medical both financially and strategically, and it supports the company's goal of continued growth in the future.
According to Managing Director Jouni Ihme the agreement is also once again an indication of Finnish health care technology industry's ability to produce industrial export products in Finland. In light of customs statistics, health care technology accounts for nearly 30 percent of Finland's high-technology product exports. Health care technology is Finland's second largest exporter of high technology after telecommunications.
Based on the agreement, Innokas Medical will manufacture magnetoencephalography (MEG) devices for Elekta. Innokas Medical has participated in developing the newest generation of the devices together with Elekta's research and development department.
Innokas Medical's Customer Manager Juha Rantala explains that styling, usability, and signal processing have been improved in the new MEG devices. The electronics and control systems of the devices are manufactured in Innokas Medical's Kempele plant; final assembly and final testing are done in the Helsinki plant. Innokas Medical also takes part in customer deliveries of the devices.
"In connection with this agreement we have invested in a final testing environment in the Helsinki plant which is tailored to the MEG device. We have also trained our staff members involved in the manufacture of the device," Rantala says.
The MEG device is used to determine the exact location of various brain functions, e.g. sight or hearing, on the cerebral cortex. It can also be used to determine the timing of various events on the cerebral cortex to the nearest millisecond.
The roots of the MEG device are in Finnish basic research. The innovation on which the device is based was born in Helsinki University of Technology's Low Temperature Laboratory in Otaniemi.
MEG is based on measuring the magnetic field of the head with low-temperature superconductors. The measurement is done using over a hundred three-channel sensors contained in liquid helium. The device can be used for both research and treatment. In clinical applications the MEG device can be used e.g. in epilepsy studies or as a surgeon's tool together with magnetic imaging when planning surgery.
Elekta and Innokas Medical have worked together since 2007. Vice President Jonas Karlström says that Elekta decided to collaborate with Innokas Medical because it needed a manufacturing partner with industrial experience and know-how in manufacturing health care technology.
"Our journey together has been a success. We are very satisfied with Innokas Medical's expertise and flexibility," Karlström says. "The MEG device is an important product in the Service & Operations business unit that I manage. We market it globally. The largest market areas so far have been Japan, the USA, and Europe. MEG devices have mostly been sold to research institutes, but their clinical use is clearly increasing."
Jouni Ihme considers the agreement an important message for Finnish industry-that development and manufacture of a Finnish innovation can be continued in Finland. Innokas Medical itself invests considerably in industrial operation in Finland. Last year the company invested over a million euros in the development of its plants in Kempele and Helsinki.