Gustav Hoppe

With over 20 years of experience in the Medtech industry and with lessons learned from test houses (third-party certification), manufacturing companies and the consulting industry, Gustav Hoppe, Senior Expert Consultant with us, has expertise in a wide range of topics. Everything from regulatory issues, testing, AI and software to electrical appliances and cybersecurity. Gustav is also a key person for us in the field of Medtech and IVD. In addition, he is a highly appreciated colleague and mentor. His career is impressive with assignments both for Swedish startups and certification of medical devices at a well-established company in the US, but let's back up a bit. We start Gustav's story in Umeå in 1999.
Gustav Hoppe, Plantvision AB

In the city of birch trees in Umeå, Gustav studied technical physics, and at that time the program did not have a special focus, but you had to learn about most things. Gustav liked the subjects and in 1999 he finished his schooling and was ready for his first job, but he had no idea what path he wanted to take in working life, it was left to fate.

"My first job was at a technology consulting company in the Medtech industry, a startup in Sundbyberg, and it was a coincidence that I ended up there. I didn't really know anything about the industry, except that it sounded fun and that was true. Now, 20 years later, I'm still in the same industry, even though the conditions are completely different today. Back then I was looking for components in the Elfa catalog, faxing in time reports every week and compiling code could only be done on a couple of extra powerful computers. I also worked at a Medtech start-up in Uppsala for several years, and I also managed to sit in the so-called 'Blue House' in Sundbyberg, which was then Siemens Medical Solutions. There I developed software for their mammography equipment."

 

Gustav's know-how and curiosity have taken him to unexpected places for various reasons. After working for a couple of years at Masimo Sweden, in Mörby outside Stockholm, with their 510(k) application, the idea of moving to warmer latitudes for work, Spain to be precise, was born. The Spanish are justifiably proud of their native language and it would prove difficult to work there without knowing the language, but that didn't stop Gustav, who took a few months' leave of absence to go to Santiago in Chile and learn Spanish. The trip proved worthwhile as it was there that Gustav met his wife, who was also there to study Spanish. The rest is history, as they say.

"My wife came from Chicago, USA and was also in Santiago to learn the language and that's the way it is. After many trips back and forth, I later got a job at Underwriters Laboratories (now UL Solutions) headquartered in Northbrook, north of Chicago, and through them I got a work visa to the US. I liked the job and the life so I stayed there for about 6 years working in medical device certification".

 

In 2013, Gustav moved with his family to Falun and was able to work remotely with UL's sister company in Copenhagen, UL Demko International A/S, and he had actually intended to stay there. But then Covid struck with full force and it started to become more and more accepted to work remotely, which suddenly meant that a lot of remote and hybrid jobs popped up to apply for. Not least with us at Plantvision.

"I tried to work at a larger Medtech company, but if you have worked for a long time as a consultant and are used to seeing different products every day, it proved difficult to work as a permanent employee in a larger company and therefore I sought to return to the consulting industry. Plantvision then seemed like the natural option. Plantvision simply gave the best impression of all consulting companies in this industry. Just theright size and with the right focus."

 

Many of Gustav's colleagues describe him as a mentor, a person who likes to share his knowledge and expertise. How does he see that epithet himself?

 

"It's not something I think about, but I guess it's just something that comes naturally to me. I've always been driven to understand why things are a certain way. For example, just fulfilling a requirement because it exists has always been difficult for me. Understanding why a certain requirement exists, what the background is and why it is formulated in this particular way is what drives me and it is great that I can share my experiences and insights with others."

 

Gustav is a key person for us, not least in the area of Medtech & IVD. He has great knowledge in the industry and is often the one who leads webinars, seminars and courses because he does it in a brilliant way and creates incredible value for the participant. Is it natural for him to share knowledge from different types of scenes?

"Well, I'm not really driven by being the center of attention. I see myself more as a classic "boring" engineer who prefers to sit in my room, read standards and philosophize. Sharing knowledge in the form of being a speaker has come more as part of my role. However, I have noticed that it adds another dimension to my own learning. Now it's not just enough for me to understand why, for example, a certain requirement exists, but I must also be able to formulate both the question and the answer in a way that others can also understand from their own perspectives. Being questioned is also the best way to learn. Being open to other people's views and realizing that other solutions can work just as well or better than yours."

 

That Gustav ended up in Medtech was perhaps a coincidence, but in retrospect he is very happy that he ended up in that particular industry. He reflects a little on the technology that is currently available and under development and notes that it is super interesting. Some technology is incredible, but it may not always be good for humanity. Autonomous AI-based weapons are one such example, but it is Medtech that is close to his heart and that is where Gustav feels he can and wants to make a difference by contributing to products that can help others and himself.

The job has its challenges, not least because of the changing world we live in. Gustav shares his views on the subject.

"Theworld is constantly changing. What worked and was right yesterday is no longer valid today. You have to be responsive, open to change and adapt accordingly. There are new regulations and new standards all the time, but if you understand the underlying idea, it is usually quite easy to adapt to new conditions .The main purpose is always more or less the same. So, always trying to understand why we do things in a certain way has helped me to quickly understand other areas. I try to anticipate the next move and the next one after that so that I can stay ahead of the game and be prepared."

A typical day at work can vary as new products and new issues arise, but in an attempt to describe a working day, Gustav says that he feels he is most effective in the morning and therefore, as soon as the children have left for school, he tries to schedule larger tasks. During lunch he recharges his batteries, often with exercise or a dog walk, and then in the afternoon he takes care of a lot of small tasks that need to be dealt with. Gustav finds it nice to take an hour in the evening as well, when there is a little more peace and quiet, to clear the emails and to be able to start the next day with the main focus on that day's larger task. Something that enriches his working day is when he himself, a customer or an employee gets an aha experience.

 

We want our employees to feel good, be able to develop and have a balance between private and work life. However, Gustav thinks the balance of how many hours he works per day can sometimes be a bit tricky, so planning is key.

"Yes, it is a bit of a challenge when you have a fun job! Sometimes there are many customers who want answers at the same time, but as long as I plan my day, week and time, it's no problem. Should a question arise that I need to discuss with someone, there are also many knowledgeable people in our company and the communication channels are both transparent, open and fast, which I appreciate very much."

In his role, Gustav works with Medtech companies, both startups and larger co-operations. We asked Gustav how he sees the future, linked to the industry in general.

"Themedtech industry itself will always be there, as long as there are people. However, the types of products we see, and how we develop and validate them, will change a lot. We already see how fast the development is and especially around AI there will be major changes."

We thank Gustav very much for the chat and wish him all the best for future projects, mentoring and his much appreciated knowledge sharing (both on stage and with clients).

 

PST! Right now we have several exciting positions available. Maybe you will be Gustav's next colleague?

 

Gustav Hoppe

Role: Senior Expert Consultant Medical Device and IVD
Team: Compliance

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