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The medical technology dream fulfilled - Maja Krämer in portrait

Maja Krämer has wanted to help people since she was a child. Today, she develops wound care products at Paul Hartmann AG to make life easier for people with chronic wounds. We are continuing our series with her, in which we present pioneering women and their stories in medical technology.

"I can still remember studying my biology book during the summer holidays at primary school. Instead of singing in front of the family, as children often do, I proudly explained the human body," says Krämer with a smile. She knew early on that she wanted to do something in the field of medicine. At the same time, she enjoyed technical subjects at school. After graduating from high school, she did not want to choose between doctor's coat and physical experiments. Instead, Krämer chose to study biomedical engineering at the University of Science in Kraków.

At home in the world centre for medical technology

"I didn't know what to expect in concrete terms, but I was very positively surprised, as the study programme exactly suited my strengths and interests," says Krämer. A professor also recognised this and gave her the opportunity to do a voluntary internship in Germany after her degree. Proud of the opportunity, she packed her bags at the age of 22 and travelled around 800 kilometres to Tuttlingen in Baden-Württemberg. "When I arrived in Tuttlingen, I saw medical technology companies everywhere, which was amazing for me." The graduated engineer realised immediately that she could start her family here and shape her future.

As Anna Goldworthy from our last portrait, Maja Krämer also gained her first practical experience in medical informatics and programmed AR and VR applications for navigation systems in medicine. But that wasn't all: "I personally knew that materials science was my strength and as I had no professional experience in materials science at the time, I decided to do another internship in this field," says Krämer.

Maja Krämer in laboratory

"If you see that options are opening up for you to develop professionally, you should definitely make the move. My goal back then was to do something that was already important to me as a child - to help people."

Maja Krämer - Research & Development Manager at Paul Hartmann AG

In dialogue with medical professionals

Since her internship, Krämer has been working as a product developer in the Research & Development team at Paul Hartmann AG, and has realised various projects from negative pressure therapy to post-op dressings, which are wound dressings that are used after surgery. The latter are intended to make life easier for patients with chronic wounds. To ensure this succeeds, the product developer is in constant dialogue: "Doctors and specialists accompany the entire process so that we can develop something that can be used later and help people."

With development, realisation, verification and approval, it takes between three and five years before a product is marketable. Seeing her own products in use motivates Krämer for her work. " Once, when I was in hospital with my daughter, she was given a wound dressing from Hartmann. At that moment, I was very relieved because I knew it was a good product that I could use in my own family with a good conscience," says Krämer.

Her efforts brought her more responsibility. Krämer is currently also responsible for highly classified products in risk class three. She not only develops these products, but also implements the new Medical Device Regulation (MDR): "The MDR means a lot of documentation for our work, which is not a problem. After all, we are getting to know our products even better." For Hartmann, the MDR means more documentation work. The main focus is still on ensuring that the products are 100 per cent safe for patients.

On the finishing line

The idea of being able to help people fulfils the developer. However, this also increases the demands she places on herself. Because she wants to keep improving the products. Krämer's engagement and perseverance allowed her to overcome many obstacles: "At the beginning, I was alone here in Germany, far away from my family and with no language skills. I struggled internally with the thought 'You have to stay strong, you can achieve your goals here!" So Krämer stayed in Germany, learnt the language, completed her Master's degree in medical technology and eventually started her family here. "Within eight years, I can say that I was able to fulfil my dreams from my A-levels and am now where I wanted to be, so in retrospect I can be proud of myself for not giving up," she says with a smile on her face.

Have you already read it?

Anna Goldsworthy, CEO of the Medical Valley, is also part of our series in which we introduce female pioneers with their stories and experiences in medical technology.
You can find her full portrait here.