Applied Medical: Boosting clinical care through innovation

Applied Medical is on a mission to enhance clinical care through its commitment to improving the reliable availability, affordability and accessibility of healthcare globally. We talk to Rob van der Meer, President Europe, to find out why this California-based medical device company set up its European headquarters in Amersfoort, and how its vertical integration approach is helping in reducing healthcare costs while meeting the healthcare arena’s needs.

10 oktober 2022 5 minuten

Boosting clinical care through innovation

Healthcare costs are rising around the world, and more healthcare providers are turning to innovative solutions to reduce the burden of increased costs and escalating demand, without compromising care­­.

Applied Medical, a new generation medical device company, designs, develops and manufactures medical devices that improve clinical care and addresses the needs of surgeons and patients.

From Amersfoort to operating rooms all over Europe

When Applied Medical started the search for its European headquarters in 2006, the Netherlands ticked all the boxes: a multilingual and skilled workforce thriving in a stable and innovative economy, with an excellent IT and transport infrastructure.

Rob explains: “We chose Amersfoort because it is a city that nurtures growth with a thriving economy. Additionally, we admire what the Utrecht region has to offer for local and international team members in terms of history as well as cultural activities.” 

More affordable land prices than Amsterdam and available spaces to develop were also contributing factors that align with the company’s expansion strategy.

In 2006 when Applied Medical Europe marked its inception, the company started its operations with one team member only and ended that year with twelve. Over the past 16 years, it reached 1,000 team members across Europe. Spreading across its different departments, Applied Medical Europe now has over 700 team members working at its premises in Amersfoort in the following teams: Applied Learning, Facilities, Quality Control, Tender & Contracts, Logistics, Personnel, Finance and Accounting, Customer Service, Hospitality, Applied Technological Services (IT), Engineering, Distribution & Logistics, Branding, Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs, and Legal. The remaining team members work in the field as part of the Field Implementation team (sales) in more than 17 countries. Over the years, Applied Medical expanded its operations to 17 countries in Europe alone, and has made approximately €70 million in investments between 2016 and 2021.

Applied Medical continues to receive national and international support to establish and expand from the municipality of Amersfoort, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and ROM Utrecht Region.

The impact of technology on healthcare

Technology is the driver of change. Advances in surgical technologies such as minimal invasive surgery techniques continue to lead to improvements in patient and overall healthcare outcomes.

As part of its commitment to innovation, Applied Medical has a portfolio of more than 650 medical devices and a pipeline filled with next-generation breakthrough technologies for a wide range of Minimally Invasive and General Surgery, as well as Bariatric, Cardiac, Colorectal, Gynecologic, Urologic and Vascular specialties.

Furthermore, Applied Medical is committed to maintaining its investments in its team members as well as R&D and advanced manufacturing technologies to meet customers’ needs and offer unrestricted choices for hospitals and healthcare providers.

Vertical integration in healthcare

Vertical integration is a phrase you often hear at Applied Medical. But what does it mean in practice, and why is it so important?

A vertically integrated company maintains control over its manufacturing process by integrating most elements of the production process instead of outsourcing its operations to third parties. Applied Medical designs and manufactures products in-house at its facilities in California and Amersfoort. Everything from raw materials for mold manufacturing and metal sheets to components for assembly, packaging and distribution.

Rob explains: “One of the most important and unique facets of our business model is vertical integration. This means we can streamline our operations and ensure high-quality and compliant products. Our business model revolved around our vertical integration which empowers us to continuously invest into expanding our expertise and capabilities. 

Vertical integration allows the company to implement product improvements and develop new technologies quickly and efficiently in addition to reducing the time it takes to convert innovative ideas into products. It also allows Applied Medical to maintain absolute control over product cost and quality and to guarantee availability.

Expansion of production facility in Amersfoort

Since 2006, the company expanded with the opening of its production facility in 2017. Today, Applied Medical is finalizing the building of its state-of-the-art sterilization facility which is due to be fully operational in early 2023. Being based in Amersfoort in close proximity to its customers in Europe has allowed Applied Medical to maintain reliable supply in addition to reducing its carbon footprint.

Moreover, its commitment to innovation is reflected in its fast-paced, challenging, and collaborative work environment that encourages its team members personal and professional growth. More specifically, its manufacturing and R&D force allows team members to utilize cutting-edge technologies, such as automation, injection molding and advanced metal processing. The automation process includes designing and building automated machines to facilitate the improvement of Applied Medical’s production processes.

Reflecting on its growth plan in Europe, Rob said: “Our ambition is to double our activities in Europe in the next five years by expanding our product portfolio and producing and sterilizing our products here in the Netherlands, thanks to our dedicated team members.”

This solid and rapid growth Applied Medical is witnessing coupled with the increasing number of team members will not only upsurge regional employment rates but will also address the critical need for better affordability and reliable availability to support the healthcare arena in today’s critical times.

As a result of Applied Medical’s strong internal culture and belief in being an Equal Opportunity Employer, and the dynamic and thriving environment of the city of Amersfoort, Utrecht region, Applied Medical foresees continuous growth in the development of innovative and breakthrough technologies for minimally invasive surgeries. The company continues to be driven and guided by the aim to meet the clinical and economic needs of hospitals and customers in Europe, and around the world.

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