New products were important to the business and it was one of only four or five German dealers who imported specialist items. The managing director visited many medical exhibitions and attended medical conferences to learn about new research work, in Germany and abroad. The firm responded to demand from hospitals and also offered unrequested new products. New products tended to be improvements on existing ones in response to requests from doctors. Germany is a wealthy country wedded to a 'free market' philosophy that accentuates the individual role of each hospital and thus naturally the purchase of hospital supplies is seen as a separate, independent activity for each hospital. The hospitals obtain most of their income through charging a comprehensive daily rate to patients which is recoverable from the social insurance system. The surgical goods dealers handled many kinds of orthopaedic appliances, including specialised imports.