The planning for the world’s largest medical trade show, MEDICA 2014 (November 12 – 15), in Düsseldorf is already running at “full power”. The course of exhibitor registrations shows once again that more than 4,500 exhibitors from around 65 nations will be expected to participate. The booked floor space, with 116,000 square meters, will correlate to the high level seen in previous years, whereby two-thirds will be allotted to international participation. For the trade show for medical technology industry being held at the same time, COMPAMED (November 12 - 14), an increase of over 10 percent in bookings has even been noticed up to more then 700 exhibitors, now on a exhibition surface larger than 13,000 square meters.
“Seeing that in previous years the new forms integrated into the trade show had been initiated successfully and the internationalization of the points in the program with many English-speaking presentations had been promoted, e.g. through the MEDICA TECH FORUM and the relaunch of the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, this year’s conceptual focus is on the continuation of live cell therapy for the conference program in 2013,” explained Joachim Schäfer, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf.
An addition has been made with the German Society for Internal Medicine (DGIM) joining as a partner for the further development of the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE program. It has a network of 23,000 members in the fields of science, medicine and health services on a European-wide basis.
Under the motto, “Science Meets Medicine”, the content orientation of this year’s conference provides a thematic integration between the conference program and what the trade show offers. This is because medical advancement is often closely associated with technical developments. Cardiac catheters, synthetic joint replacements, and modern imaging would not even be thinkable without a cross link between technology and medicine. This is being emphasized by the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2014 in the exchange between international scientists, doctors, specialized medical staff, purchasers from hospitals as well as developers and manufacturers. The four days of the conference are dedicated to each area of focus respectively. Planned topics for this include infection and inflammation, telemedicine and robotics, gastrointestinal oncology, as well as interventional medicine.
With reference to the conference program, being oriented toward those interested, belonging to important target groups, MEDICA is also ensuring that what is being offered is also linked with the topics of the trade show. An example of this includes the 37th German Hospital Day, a leading event for the directors and management of German hospitals that, in addition to current political topics, sheds light on the topic of “tangible issues”, e.g. aspects of human resources and hospital IT.
There are two more conferences that also represent this. Each of them had their highly respected debuts last year and shall be continued this year: The conference for disaster and military medicine, DiMiMED, as well as the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE, all on the issues of prevention and sports medicine treatment concepts. It has to do with conferences held in the English language that are geared for an international audience.
This year, the MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE, organized by Thieme, is new in this year’s program with treatment-oriented talks for the professional scene of physiotherapists, emphasizing the treatment of pain and sports physiotherapy.
Forums and trade show
With topical information in connection with MEDICA presentations of the exhibitors and the MEDICA conference program, significant trends also convey numerous forums that are integrated in the trade show. These include MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM and MEDICA TECH FORUM (developments in the field of high-tech medicine) in addition to, among other things, the MEDICA PHYSIO FORUM (on professional questions of physiotherapists) as well as the MEDICA ECON FORUM, which was successfully initiated by the Messe Düsseldorf and the "Techniker Krankenkasse" (TK, a German health insurance company), on issues regarding benefit assessment and funding innovation, primarily from the standpoint of patients and those who bear the costs.
In turn, the medical technology suppliers will use MEDICA in order to present the entire spectrum of new products, services and procedures to raise efficiency and quality in outpatient and in-patient care on almost 116,000 square meters of booked space.
Clearly structured according to hall, focuses of the MEDICA trade show include: Electromedicine/medical technology (more than 2,500 exhibitors), laboratory technology/diagnostics, physiotherapy/orthopedic technology, commodities and consumables, information and communication technology, medical furniture and specialist furnishings, and building technology for hospitals and doctors’ offices.
MEDICA reveals trends – innovations for the entire workflow
A central strength of the MEDICA is that it not only deals with solutions for individual medical specialist disciplines, but for the complete “workflow” of patient treatment.
In reference to medical technological product developments, the advancements made, for example, in imaging technologies are quite impressive. In the meantime, ultrasound devices of the best class offer a resolution and, at the same time, contrast with a penetration depth that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. First systems even had built-in “anatomic intelligence” consisting of an integrated database with anatomic structural models. In this way, better balance can be achieved if the transducer does not sit entirely right. Advantages also result in the creation of tomographies. As a result, an image quality is achieved that is suitable for the high requirements of cardiology.
As a further crucial trend in light of the innovations of the MEDICA exhibitors, the advancement of digitalization and automation in the operating room can be accounted for. Altogether, information and medical technology continue merging with one another more and more. In operating rooms equipped with the state of the art and so-called hybrid operating rooms (with equipment for medical imaging “on the spot”), surgeons can fall back on a continuously growing number of systems that are able to facilitate intervention and patient monitoring in addition to even being able to assist in the process.
Systems that are established include those that are computer-based on the basis of data of medical imaging and a defined planning and marking of the “target area” before intervention that navigate surgeons very precisely, controlling incision. Medical technological equipment in the operating room is increasingly networked with one another and can exchange required information among each other or between the hospital operating system for intervention or for creating documentation. The various equipment can be centrally controlled by (touchscreen) panels that are easy to operate.
Marching on: “Wearables”
Furthermore, there is already a conceptual approach on how data glasses (“Google Glass”) could optimally support surgeons in connecting to patient monitoring systems on the head-up display, showing the most important vital signs.
By the way, wearables: Advancements in the field of sensor systems, material development, energy storage, and chip technology are motors for growth belonging to this diagnosis and communication “all-rounder” used close to the body. The spectrum of current technology developments ranges from a chip-sensor band-aid to determining specific body parameters by connecting to a smartphone app, all the way to contact lenses that analyze blood sugar content, transferring this information using radio technology.
The Wearable Technologies Show being held in hall 15 communicates to MEDICA visitors a selection of wearables that possess a lot of market potential from a medical perspective. Light will be shed on interesting aspects in even more detail at the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE (in the Congress Center Düsseldorf/ CCD South). And namely, this is regarding the “Activity Trackers” used by many athletes. These generate a plethora of data. Which data is relevant in terms of preventive or therapeutic measures from a medical standpoint? And: Which standards do the data have to comply with in order to be able to be used by doctors at all? The conference presentations and discussions are going to clarify such questions.
Suppliers as important pacesetters for innovations.
Those that would like to stay up-to-date on what is currently trending in the professional scene and above all, to what extent the suppliers in cooperation with the medical technical industry drive on medical advancement. This is also a reason why a visit to COMPAMED 2014 is worthwhile. Within the scope of the international leading platform for suppliers, around 700 exhibitors are presenting their technological and service solutions for use within the medical technological industry – from new materials, components, primary products, packaging and services all the way to complex custom manufacturing.
Here, microsystem technology solutions for mobile diagnosis, monitoring and therapy systems are particularly trendy. For example, with reference to “wearables”, specialist suppliers deal with how the required technology can be best integrated into clothing. Thereby, there are numerous challenges to tackle: In this connection, wearable textiles must furthermore be stretchable without losing contact and should also be sufficiently robust for care.
In the meantime, the technical requirements for this are fulfilled by tiny sensors, flexible and stretchable substrates made of silicon, polyurethane, polyimide, or textiles that can accommodate electronic assemblies over a wide area, as well as miniature connection technologies, energy efficient communication electronics and high-performance energy storage that can be wirelessly charged, among other things.
This unique combination allows MEDICA and COMPAMED to represent the entire process chain and the full range of medical products, devices, and instruments. Together, they fill the whole Düsseldorf trade show complex (19 halls).
In 2013, the two fairs welcomed a total of 132,000 trade visitors, almost 17,000 of whom were particularly interested in the topics covered by COMPAMED.
As in previous years, it is possible to visit both events with a single ticket.
Opening times: 10:00 am - 6:30 pm, Saturday 10 am - 5:00 pm (MEDICA only).