The 80s - First steps
In 1986, proxomed was founded in Fürstenfeldbruck by Mr Herdlicka, an Austrian entrepreneur. As a small-size company, proxomed employed between seven and ten employees. Three of them have stayed with the company to this day. proxomed was the sole distributor of isokinetic test and training systems from Cybex. The devices, costing 120 to 150,000 Deutschmarks (DM), were sold at that time through intensive consultation, training and exclusive service. Through regular events and workshops given by notable experts on the topic of isokinetic muscle training in sports and rehabilitation, proxomed was able to fully convince its customers. Over 700 installations to date justify proxomed’s reputation as a leader in the isokinetic field.
The 90s – foundations are laid, the health market changes
Medical strength training devices have been developed to suit both the demands of health insurers and employers’ liability insurance associations and the approaches adopted by training in rehabilitation and competitive sports.
The demands for the institution of Extended Ambulatory Physiotherapy (EAP), initially introduced by the liability insurers and then the statutory health insurers, brought a breakthrough for training in therapy. By the end of 1996, proxomed had fitted out over 300 rehabilitation centres to the demands of the liability insurers as per EAP in the fields of training and movement. This was how proxomed laid the foundations for its excellent reputation as a market leader in medical strength training.
Political changes in healthcare in 1996/7 (among them, the cessation of approvals for outpatient rehabilitation centres, restrictive acceptance of therapy costs by the health insurers, budgeting in doctors’ prescribing behaviours...), provoked by the overloading of the social care system caused by high unemployment, led to the collapse of a large portion of the national market. As a consequence of the structural reform of the healthcare system: 30% of clinics were closed and revenues sank. This difficult period also left its mark on proxomed, as it was suddenly no longer competitive as a trader. Restructuring was an urgent necessity. proxomed found a strong partner with a financial background and worldwide sales in the Swiss Bernina Group. proxomed had already distributed its multifunctional therapy system, the isokinetic pulley apparatus Moflex, since 1994. Bernina, headquartered in Steckborn in the Canton of Thurgau, has the most widespread worldwide market recognition thanks to its core business in top-quality sewing and embroidering machines.
In the critical market situation of the time, proxomed developed alternatives and brought innovative ideas (self-payers, international sales) to fruition. In connection with the strong international presence of Bernina, both partners’ position on the global health market improved. The vision of positioning proxomed as an international service provider in the health sector and gaining the resources to support long-term, sustainable growth, had been fulfilled.
Slowly at first, from 1998 social changes with a tendency towards greater independence and individual initiative began to open up extensive growth opportunities in new market sectors, above all in the field of prevention, health-related fitness and sports and training for older people. For proxomed, the customer demands of the future were seen to be in the documentation and quality assurance of the exercise achieved. From now on, full concentration was directed towards the development of individual concept solutions for the implementation of targeted training planning and control with all the necessary documentation. This was summed up in the proxomed philosophy: “from test to training”.
The 00s – further development to become an internationally active medical technology company
To be able to manage the ever-growing list of international contacts, in 2002 the International Sales department was founded. The goal of this department is to support and grow local dealers who exclusively trade in proxomed product ranges.
In Germany, proxomed now not only sells devices but above all complete therapeutic and rehabilitative concepts. Here, the ease of implementation and efficiency achieved for the customer are paramount. Before a purchase decision, customers receive comprehensive advice on financing and helpful tips on starting a business in this sector. After the sale too, proxomed’s medical product consultants, trained in business administration and billing, are available to offer direct help to customers in implementing the company’s concepts in practice. Customer training in how to handle the devices, help in billing services rendered to the insurers, marketing support – these are just a few aspects of the full range of services on offer from proxomed.
proxomed Medizintechnik GmbH, previously having only ever had its proprietary devices produced by external manufacturing firms, takes a further important strategic step in company development in 2005: it founds the subsidiary proxowell GmbH, Bückeburg (Lower Saxony), producing its own products independently from 2006. As a manufacturer, proxomed is able to offer customers the highest quality at attractive prices.
The 2010s – new possibilities
In 2010, proxomed Medizintechnik GmbH and proxowell GmbH become the proxomed Group, or in short: proxogroup. The new proxomed Group combines hardware, software and consultative competence – or “smartware” – under one roof, achieving successful concepts in both medical and economic terms for the new medical/fitness markets.
The medical fitness market arose from the lively exchange between the classical medical and fitness markets. While the fitness-oriented deployment of medical knowledge functions outstandingly, the opposite process of knowledge adoption is also highly fruitful. Ever greater numbers of physiotherapists combine the classical market provision with fitness options.
Correspondingly, in 2012 proxomed offers its first complete concepts: the Competence Centre for Medical Fitness and the Competence Centre for Back Pain.
With these concepts, the therapy centre can rise above its competitors. To ensure therapeutic and economic success, extra-budgetary solutions for seniors, back or joint pain, internal disorders and health-oriented users are created. Over the course of three phases (acute, development and retention) the patient is converted into a long-term customer.
- proxomed Medizintechnik GmbH and proxowell GmbH join up to become the proxomed Group
- Medical goes Fitness - therapists enter the fitness market
- Urs Bach becomes new head of sales at the proxomed Group in Switzerland
- IT in therapy with proxOS, the central database and interface to devices and administrative systems
Acting on the health markets for a healthy society
In the following years, proxomed concentrates more closely on the public and private health markets, extending its presence in the medical field. This is necessary in order to fully exploit its strengths and core competences in the marketplace. The central focus is on how patients or customers can maintain and improve their health. This perfectly fits the proxomed goal “for a healthy society”. This vision is also being realised in the development of hardware and software products. For proxomed customers, who are principally hospitals, therapy institutions and health centres, the products become yet more economical.
According to this focus, many new products are introduced into the portfolio. Thus, proxomed now takes on exclusive representation for the anti-gravity treadmill by AlterG in Germany and Switzerland.
- proxomed puts greater focus on the public and private health markets
- New production facility in Luhden inaugurated
- proxomed becomes exclusive partner for NASA-developed anti-gravity treadmill AlterG
- Development of vib4back, the world-first local vibration training device
- Introduction of the new compass 600 strength device range
A reliable solution provider on the health market
proxomed continues to grow, changing from a supplier of medical training devices to a solution provider for health institutions. In 2016, as part of an asset deal, proxomed takes operative control of large portions of LMT Deutschland GmbH and LMT Leuenberger AG in Switzerland. In this way, the product portfolio, range of services and logistics are further extended and the DACH region strategy strengthened.
In 2017, there is a change in the top management of proxomed after 19 years: Antoni Mora, veteran CEO, moves to the advisory board and Marcus Melching, previously head of production and a member of the management, becomes the new CEO. Like no other, Marcus Melching stands for the continuous improvement of the medical training therapy provided and the range of high-quality training devices on offer. As a sports scientist, he is constantly looking for innovations and improvements that can make rehabilitation more efficient and more successful.
proxomed extends its market share in medical training devices. The market continues to grow, and alongside its high-quality medical training devices, the company’s specialist knowledge as a solution provider is increasingly in demand.