Justin Lampropoulos and Andrew Cotton: Reinventing Interventional Procedural Solutions 

SYNDEO Medical | Justin Lampropoulos - Interventional Procedural Solutions | The Lifesciences Magazine

The healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, with advancements in technology, regulations, and patient needs happening at an unprecedented pace. Leaders who prioritize continuous learning and adaptability can navigate these changes effectively, ensuring their organizations stay relevant and successful. One such leader is Justin Lampropoulos (Founder & Chief Executive Officer of SYNDEO Medical), whose leadership aligns with the critical needs of the modern healthcare landscape, where rapid change, high stakes, a dynamic environment, and a patient-centric focus necessitate adaptable leaders committed to excellence and focused on the future.

From Where It All Began

Having dedicated most of his professional career to the medical devices sector, starting from the foundational level, Justin believes that hands-on sales experience is crucial. A central theme in today’s conversation is the sales-driven nature of SYNDEO Medical–an approach Justin (CEO) and Andrew Cotton (CCO), SYNDEO Medical’s, strongly advocate for. This perspective stems from his extensive experience at Merit Medical, a US-based company specializing in the design and development of products for interventional cardiology, radiology, and oncology. 

This is where he gained expertise in medical technology and global markets over nearly 15 years, working in senior executive roles across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. On the other hand, Andrew Cotton boasts over 25 years of experience in the medical device industry, having spent time at GE, Merit Medical, and Theragenics, focusing on commercial strategies, partner development, and channel design. Having worked in various countries, his career reflects a deep commitment to the medical device sector, viewing it as both a professional focus and a personal passion.

Together with Andrew, Justin founded SYNDEO Medical, a Belgian-based medical device designer and developer of interventional and diagnostic procedural solutions, after working together since 2010. Their growth over the years is a narrative of diligently cultivating markets, devising and executing commercial strategies, introducing innovative products developed internally, and integrating promising acquisitions. 

Their foundation, laid during their tenure at Merit Medical, allowed them to elevate modest revenue streams and niche products to achieve substantial market presence, escalating revenues from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. They believe that exceptional leadership in the medical device industry goes beyond merely monitoring market trends and conducting routine business evaluations. It necessitates a profound, hands-on methodology—personally visiting customers, empathizing with their experiences during prosperous and challenging times, and understanding the real-world implications of supply disruptions or product performance issues. This principle is deeply ingrained in SYNDEO Medical’s culture, advocating for direct engagement with the market to truly grasp its dynamics.

During their recent trip to a key radiology conference in Dubai, Justin and Andrew exemplified their commitment to active listening at SYNDEO Medical by perceiving such events as a platform for their innovations and as opportunities to understand customer needs and competitor strategies. Moreover, this aspect aligns with their core focus on interventional medicine and their philosophy, inspired by the great Sam Walton, Founder of the American super-retailer Walmart, of directly engaging with the market. By actively listening to customer experiences, the SYNDEO Medical leadership gains valuable insights that fuels their success, drives business growth, and paves the path for future innovations.

Based in Belgium, SYNDEO Medical goes beyond simply offering products–the company actively listens to its customers and tailors solutions to their needs. Closely observing practices and gathering feedback transforms customer insights into action with passion and enthusiasm. This dynamic approach, fueled by ambition and a deep desire to exceed expectations, is a cornerstone of their philosophy. The joy of exceeding customer expectations shines through in every aspect of their business, demonstrating a true commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.

“If the process is so straightforward, why isn’t everyone successful?”

Reflecting on the journey from the inception of SYNDEO Medical, which started from a simple conversation in a quaint Amsterdam café with a strategic partner, to the establishment it has become today, Justin acknowledges the role of fortune. Yet, he attributes the company’s brand development at their conference booth to more than just luck. In his view, building a company isn’t inherently complicated but presents significant challenges. The process involves a sequential progression, like following steps from A to E, especially in the medical device industry, to bring a product to market. 

However, the real question arises: if the process is so straightforward, why isn’t everyone successful at it? Justin believes the answer lies in the critical elements:

  • Passion: Having a deep passion for one’s work is crucial. Without passion, he feels that one’s endeavors lack substance and drive.
  • Determination: The medical device industry is characterized by slow progress, making determination essential. Staying power,persistence, and commitment to bringing innovative technologies and products to market is imperative. “This is a marathon, not a sprint, which is what one of my mentors had told me in the past,” quotes Justin. 
  • Attention to Detail: Focusing on unchanging elements is key in a constantly evolving industry like medical devices. However, Justin points out the importance of meticulous attention to detail, which signifies quality and innovation for him. Whether it’s ensuring the accuracy of a label on a box, the legibility of product text, or the user-friendliness of packaging, these small details collectively contribute to a product’s overall excellence and reception.

In addition, the confidence to engage customers directly, asking them to place orders for their products constitutes Andrew’s leadership philosophy. While these practices may seem straightforward, executing them effectively poses challenges that many find daunting. Yet, Andrew, Justin, and the team have embraced these challenges, continually striving to master and improve upon them, reflecting their commitment to excellence and innovation in the medical device field. “We’ve got massive amounts of energy and ambition. We drive our business and enjoy it,” quotes Andrew. 

About SYNDEO Medical

While creating a company centered around custom-designed interventional procedure packs, a once flourishing product segment that has been underserved, adds operational complexity, Justin says it ultimately empowers better patient outcomes by ensuring hospitals and clinicians have everything they need in one package. This approach streamlines operations, making it simpler and more cost-effective for healthcare providers. Medical professionals have acknowledged the company’s commitment to quality and timely delivery, including a recent Southern European interventional cardiologist who credited its products with enabling him to treat more patients effectively.

Additionally, the company challenges the traditional purchasing habits of hospitals, which usually involve buying medical devices separately. By consolidating essential devices into a single procedure pack, SYNDEO Medical simplifies the supply chain and offers a more economical option, potentially saving healthcare providers 30 to 60% in costs. This innovative approach eases the procurement process and enhances patient throughput, addressing hospitals’ cost pressures and regulatory challenges. 

Moreover, Justin highlights the sustainability aspect of SYNDEO Medical’s procedural packs. The company significantly reduces packaging waste and contributes to a more sustainable healthcare environment by reducing the number of separate products needed. This effort aligns with SYNDEO Medical’s core corporate culture, which places a high value on sustainability.

Despite the market pressures and the departure of other companies from this sector, SYNDEO Medical sees a tremendous opportunity. By offering customized procedural packs that meet the specific needs of their customers, they are providing a valuable, cost-effective, and sustainable service. Justin believes that by effectively communicating the benefits of their approach, SYNDEO Medical can fulfill a critical need in hospitals worldwide, challenging the norm and offering innovative solutions in interventional medicine.

A Multi-faceted Leader

Justin plays a multi-faceted role at the helm, engaging in everything from product development with global teams to operational tasks with manufacturing units, and overseeing marketing and sales efforts alongside Andrew. His involvement spans the entire spectrum of the business, embodying the essence of startup leadership where seeing and doing go hand in hand. Justin and his leadership style are characterized by an energetic hands-on approach, emphasizing the importance of attention to detail and leading by example. 

He firmly believes in the significance of the little things, ensuring that no task is deemed too minor for any team member, including himself and Andrew, from everyday tasks, such as maintaining a clean office environment, to tackling complex challenges inherent in the medical device industry.

Moreover, Justin is a proponent of visible leadership, a trait he learned from his father at a young age, MedTech luminary and Founder of Merit Medical, Fred Lampropoulos. He and his team remain actively involved in direct interactions with customers and distributors, making themselves available at trade shows and responding personally to inquiries from physicians, nurses, and distribution partners. Despite the company’s status as a startup, Justin and his team are seasoned professionals in the medical device industry, recognized globally for their expertise and integrity. He understands the value of reputation, built over years of ethical practice and dedication to meeting customer needs with vigor and commitment. 

For Justin, building the company’s reputation is paramount as he envisions the future of SYNDEO Medical being guided by customers needs and their trust in the ability to deliver valuable, cost-effective and innovative solutions. His leadership ensures that the company meets and exceeds customer expectations, always in the most ethical manner possible, powered by an unyielding energy and a steadfast presence for their clients.

Continuous Learning: 101 Approach to Thriving in the Industry

Given that continuous learning is paramount in the medical device industry, Justin, leveraging his decades long experience, acknowledges that every day brings new knowledge, especially as regulations for medical devices are constantly evolving worldwide. The industry demands an active, hands-on approach, far removed from the concept of passive income popular among younger generations today. He emphasizes that, like any field within medicine, whether one is a healthcare professional or a medical device executive, staying abreast of changing science and regulations is a paramount to success. 

He also believes that a culture of continuous improvement within the company is essential, urging his team to meet and exceed the requirements to stay ahead in the market. Understanding and navigating the regulatory, customer, and therapeutic landscapes is crucial for success in this business. Justin warns that entering the medical device sector requires a significant commitment to hard work, whether as a founder or an employee. “It’s a demanding field, but the effort is rewarding for those passionate about improving people’s lives. The satisfaction of making a meaningful difference motivates me to face each day’s challenges and continue building and growing,” said Justin.

Justin also points out that the medical device market is exceptionally dynamic, influenced by regulatory changes, currency fluctuations, changes in various clinical practices, and geopolitical events. Companies cannot afford complacency; staying informed about global developments and responding appropriately is critical. This vigilance ensures that SYNDEO Medical remains adaptable and proactive, ready to meet the market’s and its customers’ evolving needs. 

Meanwhile, Andrew has been a keen observer of the medical device industry and sees immense potential for innovation beyond expensive, groundbreaking equipment. He believes true success lies in bringing simple, practical solutions, like new surgical drapes to market, even if they seem unassuming. Sustainability is a cornerstone of SYNDEO Medical’s mission, with every product since January 2024 evaluated for its environmental impact. Recognizing the complexities of market entry, Andrew navigates regulatory hurdles, and healthcare needs to ensure responsible and sustainable innovation thrives in the industry.

Time Flies while Creating Meaningful Change. 

Throughout his journey within the medical device sector, Justin has been recognized as a seasoned leader and has always emphasized the importance of finding and following one’s passion, especially when it intersects with the fields of people, science, and medicine. Reflecting on his and his team’s path, he notes, “Time flies when you’re focused on creating meaningful change. It’s been a mix of successes and learning experiences aimed at benefiting patients.”

He often advises newcomers to the industry to be prepared for a lengthy journey, emphasizing patience and dedication in a market of constant set-backs and change. Justin highlights the necessity of staying informed and adaptable in a field where regulations and scientific advancements constantly evolve. “Bringing a new technology to market is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires endurance,” he remarks, pointing out the slow but rewarding innovation process. Innovation, for Justin, often comes in simple yet impactful forms. 

“Sometimes, minor adjustments can significantly enhance a procedure,” he shares, citing examples like a more efficient interventional drape design—such innovations, though small, are celebrated for their practical impact on healthcare delivery.

 Understanding customer needs is a cornerstone of Justin’s approach. “It’s crucial to listen to everyone involved in the product’s lifecycle, from the sales team to the end-users,” he states, emphasizing the value of diverse perspectives in product development and improvement. Wrapping up his thoughts, Justin underscores the importance of being passionate, customer-focused, and driven by a clear purpose. “These principles guide us in our efforts to contribute positively to healthcare,” he concludes, offering a grounded perspective on the commitment required to innovate and succeed in the medical device industry.

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