Digitalisation wave causes flood of innovations at Medica 2018

Around 120,000 visitors visited the world's largest trade fair Medica trade fair, and the internationally supplier trade fair Compamed in Düsseldorf.

The fair, which took place from 12 to 15 November 2018, played host to 5273 exhibitors from 66 countries and an international share of more than 80% - a new record for Medica. Compamed also continued its record run with 783 exhibitors from 40 states.

“Nowhere else in the world will you find the entire process chain of innovations for the development, manufacture and marketing of medical devices, products, instruments and high-tech solutions presented in such a seamless manner and broached in hundreds of speeches by renowned experts,” said Wolfram Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

“At Medica, visitors can see for themselves what is generally possible with regard to modern outpatient and clinical care and in which areas new processes and care models are being used in a promising way. These impulses are gaining importance, especially with regard to the German market. Service providers in this country are faced with ever growing price pressure. At the same time, they fortunately also benefit from an increasing orientation towards innovation and new technologies.”

A range of information on digital transformation was available for visitors, both in the halls and as part of the 1000 presentations. The accompanying forums and conferences proved that many innovations related to digitalisation and not only offered good business perspectives to their providers, but also benefited doctors and patients. “Benefits for patients are a more efficient use of medical personnel on the one hand and easier access to specialist know how on the other, for example when experts from neighbouring university hospitals or even from abroad are called in virtually,” said Horst Giesen, global portfolio director, Health & Medical Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf.

Global start-ups

One of the key themes was the development of digital health applications that are no longer based on expensive new hardware developments but are primarily software-driven and start-ups around the world are seizing this opportunity.

New start-ups gave daily presentations in the “Medica Disrupt” initiative, held within the Medica Connected Healthcare Forum and the Medica App Competition in Hall 15. More than 50 start-ups stormed the stage to present solutions for everything from treating skin cancer and chronic conditions to telemonitoring and tracking of vital signs and activity. Start-ups could also be found in the Medica Start-Up Park and at the Wearable Technologies Show (both in Hall 15).

Among the new innovations were a smartphone opthalmoscope designed to examine retinas and eyes, as well as a smart pain patch that uses blue and red LED light to stimulate the wound healing process. The development team from FibriCheck in Belgium emerged victorious from the App Ccompetion with a smartphone application based on artificial intelligence that recognises cardiac arrhythmias. All that is required is a single finger scan with a smartphone camera.

Programme highlights captivated the audience

The accompanying programme focused on the most important trends on the market and visitors could experience examples of the use of artificial intelligence, as well as advances that are already in the pipeline for the future, such as artificial intelligence for diagnostics. This was clear at the session on bionic technologies (for use in intelligent prosthetics) at the Medica Connected Health Care Forum and the Medica Health IT Forum.

Further highlights included Medica's accompanying programme Medica Academy, a medical training event; the international DiMiMED conference for specialists from the military and catastrophe medicine sector; the Medica Physio Conference and the Medica Medicine + Sports Conference for sports professionals. Among other topics, the focus this year lay on corporate fitness, prevention concepts to be implemented within companies, as well as the use of sport in paediatrics and adolescent medicine as a means of preventing chronic illnesses such as diabetes 2 or obesity.

The 41st German Hospital Conference offered 2150 participants a multitude of health politics and practice-oriented sessions, with several events dedicated to the topic of digitalisation. The most famous visitor was German Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, who officially opened the Hospital Conference and praised clinics as the backbone of care in his speech.

Suppliers boost powerful products

In conjunction with Medica, Compamed took place for the 27th time, providing insight for the supplier market in medical technology manufacturing. Companies and research institutes came to Halls 8a and 8b and showcased their high-tech solutions, thus presenting themselves as skilled partners for development and production in the medical technology industry. Once again, small and simultaneously powerful components proved a hot topic among the product innovations. These components are used in increasingly compact devices and products - and even in active implants, which count as the most sophisticated medical products in the world. Currently, 3D printing is also developing dynamically. For the first time, Compamed dedicated a one-day international conference to this topic.

Next year's Medica and Compamed take place in Düsseldorf from 18 – 21 November 2019.


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