A key supply of prehospital and combat casualty care25 January 2023
Established in Sandviken, Sweden, in 1995, Promoteq provides medical equipment in the four following categories: prehospital systems solutions, consumables, medical technology and simulators. Its customers consist of mainly government organisations and companies with defence, law enforcement, security and medical missions.
Starting off life as a go-between for Swedish government agencies to purchase equipment from US-based companies, Promoteq began selling medical supplies in the early 2000s.
As the company started providing medical equipment, it gradually became aware of niche areas where no one else was working. One such case was in prolonged field care.
While it has always existed within militaries in one form or another, the need for prolonged field care rose to prominence during the war in Afghanistan, as armed forces faced challenges like delayed transportation or an inability to evacuate.
“Prolonged field care is the last thing you actually want to do,” explains Jacob Packendorff, medical director at Promoteq, citing the ‘PACE’ mnemonic used by militaries around the world: primary, alternate, contingency and emergency. “It’s an emergency measure. When you can’t transport people, you can’t bring a surgical team, you can’t do anything. That’s when prolonged field care comes in – to make sure that people don’t die unnecessarily, or keep them alive until surgery, which is the thing that actually saves them.”
When designing its prolonged field care kits, Promoteq worked closely with a surgical team to ensure it provides the right equipment, resulting in a light, streamlined product that doesn’t saddle a medical team down with unnecessary tools. Promoteq’s field care kits are also flexible, compatible with any kind of container from civilian luggage, backpacks or hardcases, and all depending on the customer’s needs.
Learning from the past
One of the other niches that Promoteq fills is in remote damage control resuscitation. After the Second World War, Packendorff notes, much of the developments around patient resuscitation were left by the wayside.
Promoteq is working on supplying blood products far forward near the front, which would increase the survival rate for patients, helping to keep them alive until surgery.
In this area of remote damage control resuscitation, Promoteq designs its kits alongside the Trauma Haemostasis and Oxygenation Research (THOR) network’s recommendations to ensure they meet the highest standards. These products include the MEQU fluid heater, which allows medics to heat stored blood far forward, as treating a trauma patient with cold blood could cause serious problems.
Promoteq’s main focus when designing a product is to supply the full patient chain – from the point of injury until the patient comes to hospital – making sure that its kits, modules and equipment fit every step of the way in a seamless transition from place to place. To achieve this, all of its kits are procedure based, with everything a medic or surgeon would need to carry out the specific procedure at hand. This can save up between 5–9kg compared with other combat medic packs currently in use, and also helps with storage, logistics and obsolescence, resulting in a system that is efficiency both in terms of cost and lead time.
At the same time, Promoteq prides itself on offering a turnkey solution with one supplier that supports supply chain, obsolescence management and refurbishment. Recent conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine, have shown that medical logistics are a major issue for many countries. And when challenges arise, it makes a big difference whether you’re working with 40 different companies or just one single point of contact if you need to discuss solutions quickly.
This single supplier system helps keep pricing at a competitive level. Promoteq works closely with almost all of the manufacturers involved with its kits, so it doesn’t have to deal with any middlemen.
Similarly, the company has sizeable contracts with manufacturers, putting it in the driving seat should changes be required to its current offerings. Promoteq also provides the Norwegian Army with its medical items, lending the company a stronger voice when asking its suppliers for flexibility in price or lead time.