Initiatives of theHamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Spiegelberg: Cost-efficient medical device with brand language

Product innovation in medical technology: smaller, more beautiful and safer.

Spiegelberg: Cost-efficient medical device with brand language -

Medical technology is a highly regulated market. For SMEs in particular, complex authorisation and testing procedures mean few resources to bring new products to market.

In the Cross Innovation Lab 2022, the Hamburg-based company Spiegelberg took the liberty of interrupting business-as-usual for a short time and redesigned one of its standard products together with two creative minds.

The challenge

There are many medical products: From simple plasters and surgical instruments to neurosurgical devices such as the EVD set from Spiegelberg - a medical technology manufacturer from Hamburg with 55 employees. EVD stands for external ventricular drainage and is used when things get tight in the skull. For accident victims, people with brain tumours or trauma patients, ventricular drainage can be a life-saving measure. If too much cerebrospinal fluid accumulates at one point in the brain, it can quickly become life-threatening. The EVD set is used to measure the pressure in the brain and drain excess water. The product is well known among neurosurgeons. The drainage system has been on the market for a long time and sells well, not least because Spiegelberg, as a small medium-sized company, also sells "Tradition Made in Germany". But tradition often also means high production costs and old design. In spring 2022, this combination of factors prompted Stefan Paschko, Managing Director at Spiegelberg, to give the EVD set a facelift. The aim was to make it smaller, more attractive and safer.

The main challenge for Spiegelberg was that the EVD set needed to fulfil a wide range of customer requirements. For the revision, the focus was therefore placed on redesign, handling, pack size and a reduction in manufacturing costs. During the process, user needs were also queried and prioritised once again in order to rethink the product in a slimmer, more aesthetic and maximally functional way.


In addition to ideas on sales, branding and sustainability, Spiegelberg came away from the lab with two different prototypes. The first variant represents a refinement and clever reduction of the original product: Various design tricks were used to reduce components, support clear and safe handling and find a simple product language. The second variant promises a minimised pack size and a strong USP over the competition - more cannot be revealed at this point. At the company's internal final evening, the team was able to convince even critical voices and is now on the way to further developing the prototypes through various design and approval phases and bringing them to market maturity.

The team

Creatives: Gerrit Kuhn(BFGF Design Studios), Sophie Heins(Oh Wunder Kommunikationsdesign)
Spiegelberg: Theresa Gärtner, Bodo Hardt, Johanna Marx, Stefan Paschko

"It was very exciting to break out of our familiar, rigid development structures and take a different approach to brainstorming. The additional impetus from outside contributed enormously to the fact that the solution ideas turned out to be much more creative."

Theresa Gärtner, R & D Engineer, Spiegelberg GmbH & Co. KG

Format & method

In the Cross Innovation Lab, companies come together in changing constellations over a period of six weeks to work together on product developments in a stimulating environment. Experts from the creative industries are specifically involved in the process.

  • Field research: At the beginning, the challenges of the companies are analysed in a new kind of depth in collaboration with creative professionals - and their fresh perspective from the outside.
  • Workshop phase: In a total of four workshop/lab days, the companies develop new solutions together with selected creative professionals.
  • Feedback loops: Between the labs, a concept review takes place with all participating companies in order to further improve the products through joint feedback and exchange.

In the iterative work process, companies develop new products or product adaptations in a significantly reduced amount of time.

Our partner: Spiegelberg

Spiegelberg is a manufacturer of medical technology from Hamburg. The company sells neurosurgical products such as ICP monitors, ICP probes, catheters & EVD sets and IAP catheters. Spiegelberg was founded in Hamburg in 1986 and has been based at Tempowerk since then - a technology centre in Hamburg-Harburg that supports 100 technology-oriented SMEs with services, knowledge transfer and event series. Spiegelberg took part in a Cross Innovation Hub World Café for the first time in 2019 and in the Cross Innovation Lab in 2022 via Tempowerk's networking activities.

More about the format

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