In a world full of followers, it is not easy to be the one thinking differently. Instead of continuing with the same line of ideas, Tim Horeman dared to radically change the approach to medtech solutions. And we are happy he did.
The outstanding genius
In the world of medtech engineering, Tim’s name is known. Not only are his inventions the basis of multiple life-saving medical devices that can be found all over the world, but they have also accorded him incredible recognition. Winning the Royal Prins Friso Award (known as the Dutch Engineer of the Year) in 2016 was just one of the many prizes Tim has received throughout his career as a researcher and health care innovator.
All this started with an insatiable curiosity and an ability to find solutions where no one else sees them. At a very young age, Tim was already a problem solver. He was constantly trying to fix problems around him. Also, being passionate about mechanics, he used to invest hours fixing and modifying cars. It was therefore no surprise that he decided to study engineering at Inholland University of Applied Sciences. By the time he finished, Tim had become influenced by the company Mallinckrodt, where he built his first medical device during his graduation, leading him to enrolling in a medtech-related master’s program, Biomechatronics and Biomechanical Engineering, at the prestigious Delft University of Technology.
Inspired directly by the need
Halfway through his master’s studies, Tim got the opportunity to take part in a humanitarian project in India and Nepal. There, his engineering skills were tested in real-life settings, where creative and affordable solutions were needed to address day-to-day healthcare struggles. During a three-month period, Tim saw with his own eyes local sterilization challenges and the lack of new technologies in instrumentation, which led to unimaginable post-surgical complications.
And those three months were enough for Tim to come to the conclusion that quality healthcare should not only be available to those who can pay for it but to everyone who needs it. This meant that current instruments and technologies needed to radically change in order to become simpler, more affordable and more sustainable. Subsequently, Tim made this challenge his own.
Upon his return to the Netherlands, Tim collaborated with several research groups aiming to develop innovative surgical instruments and worked with different medtech start-ups. He based his doctoral and post-doctoral studies in Biomechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology on the development of new arthroscopic and laparoscopic instruments and training systems for minimally invasive surgeries. His unique ideas to solve healthcare challenges granted him many awards such as the Sustainable Healthcare Award (2013), the Dutch Engineer of the Year (Prins Friso Award 2016), the Amazing Technology Award (by the European Association of Endoscopic Surgery in 2017) and the Athanasiou Biomedical Engineering Award (2018).
At Surge-on Medical and beyond
His contributions to the development of a unique steering and cable-free mechanism were the bases of four patents that became the starting point of Surge-on Medical’s platform technology in 2015.
At Surge-on Medical, the start-up that he founded with Benno Groosman, Tim is the CTO and mastermind behind the ground-breaking steerable technology that is used in the development of arthroscopic and laparoscopic instruments. “I’m happy to be part of a team that shares my drive to democratize healthcare,” says Tim. “At Surge-on Medical, we believe that surgeons can do more than what the current instruments can offer. We are creating tools that truly empower surgeons everywhere, so they can do better what they do: saving lives.”
As research leader at Surge-on Medical and assistant professor of Sustainable Surgery at Delft University of Technology, Tim is committed full-time to improving healthcare. He keeps designing affordable, cable-free, steerable and cleanable instrumentation to benefit patients in all parts of the world.
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