Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA
Mobility for People
All over the world, the name Ottobock is a synonym for high-quality and technologically outstanding medical technology products and services. The goal of helping to restore mobility to people with disabilities, and protect the mobility they have, stands behind each and every one of the company's products. Our conviction that quality of life is closely connected to a maximum of individual freedom and independence is a key concept that has been a major influence throughout the company's nearly 100-year history and guides the development of new products in a focused manner.
The medical technology company Ottobock has seen stable growth for years: in 2016, sales rose by 4.8 per cent in constant currency to EUR 884.5 million, and the number of employees increased to over 7,000 worldwide. The company's international activities are coordinated from the head office in Duderstadt. The network of distribution and service companies in more than 50 countries means the company has a global presence which enables us to be close to our customers. With the four business areas of Prosthetics, Orthotics, Mobility solutions (manual and power wheelchairs and rehab products) and MedicalCare, the company is ideally positioned and capable of offering its customers a range of products so wide it is nearly incomparable, perfectly harmonised solutions, and extensive services.
Since August 2017 EQT holds a 20 percent share in Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA. Otto Bock Holding GmbH & Co. KG, which is in 100 percent ownership of the Näder familiy, will retain an 80 percent share in the company.
Ottobock products set standards
Mechatronic solutions for the autoadaptive control of prosthetic components are a key area of Ottobock's research and development. The electronic intelligence integrated into the product takes the burden off the user, so that the systems adapt to different conditions and everyday situations automatically. On the basis of this technology, products from our prosthetics range are continuously setting standards in the care of people with disabilities. Launched in 1997, the C-Leg was the first completely microprocessor-controlled lower limb prosthesis system on the market. The Genium - Bionic Prosthetic System, the global leader in exo-prosthethics in 2011, represents another milestone in product development. It simulates natural, physiological ambulation almost perfectly. The Michelangelo prosthetic hand, in turn, is a quantum leap in prosthetic fittings for upper limbs. Controlled by muscle signals, it offers four movable fingers and a thumb that can be positioned separately so that the user can execute different types of grasping accurately, quickly and reliably.
Among other things in 2015, the Kenevo became market ready, making the benefits of microprocessor-controlled leg prosthesis systems available to people with low mobility grades for the first time, while the Genium X3 and the fourth generation of the C-Leg have established themselves as state-of-the-art technology for more active transfemoral amputees.
Ottobock is also a global market leader in the field of neuroorthopaedics. This care is aimed at people who are affected by complete or partial paralysis of a leg. The complete-leg orthosis C-Brace® is the first mechatronic orthotic solution in the world that controls the entire gait cycle dynamically and in real time.
Due to reliability and safety requirements together with the amount of strain placed on the products, strict quality control standards are essential. For example, before a new Ottobock prosthetic foot is brought to market, it is tested in special gait simulators where it has to take around three million steps. Furthermore, complex testing at the gait lab provides insights into the reaction forces at work during the roll of a prosthetic foot or the influence that a prosthesis has on the metabolism of the test subject, so as to find solutions that help to reduce as much effort as possible.
Apart from product quality, another focus is on the quality of prosthetic fitting. As part of MedicalCare, Ottobock now operates over 130 fitting centres around the world. The know-how in high-quality patient fittings acquired there, a detailed understanding of the market, and the individual business models developed for countries and regions also benefit business customers to whom Ottobock Business Service makes this range and know-how available as services.
Training and continuing education provided by Ottobock Academy
Sharing state-of-the-art specialist know-how, ensuring the quality of prosthetic care, and working in a targeted manner to counter the international shortage of skilled workers: with these objectives, the Ottobock Academy pursues a strong role in the training and continuing education of orthopaedic and rehabilitation technicians. The extensive and differentiated programme is directed at all experts involved in a patient's fitting process, and also includes Ottobock employees around the world to enable them to provide customers and partners with qualified advice and support. In cooperation with the PFH Private University of Applied Sciences in Göttingen and the University of Göttingen, as well as other partners in medicine and science, Ottobock has developed three courses of study in the fields of orthobionics and healthcare technology. This closes the gap between medical research, modern medicine and orthopaedic technology.
Ottobock’s commitment to sports for people with disabilities has long been a fixture of the company’s philosophy. The goal is to place people with disabilities at the centre of society and to show them as great athletes and role models, demonstrating that sports and performance can provide a new lease of life. This spirit is embodied by the Paralympic Games, which Ottobock has actively backed and supported since the Games in Seoul in 1988. At Rio 2016, Ottobock performed a total of 14,500 hours of work with a 100-member technical service team made up of technicians from 29 countries. During this time, 2,408 repair orders involving 3,361 individual repairs were carried out. Ottobock has been a partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2005, and in Rio extended this contract until the end of 2020.
Science Center Berlin - "Discover what moves us"
The fascination of the human body, the interest in its function and the seemingly obvious that is concealed behind complex patterns of movement: all this illustrates the enormous challenge for medical technology of restoring mobility to people through artificial limbs. With the Science Center Berlin, Ottobock has applied a unique approach and succeeded in giving medical technology a platform with broad appeal. Under the motto "Discover what moves us", mobility becomes comprehensible for all. Exhibits and interactive displays invite visitors to experience the functionality of prostheses, orthoses and wheelchairs.