“The high number of international visitors has provided medical device technology providers as well as their suppliers at MEDICA and COMPAMED with tailwinds for propping up their export business. Those putting their business on a particularly broad footing across country borders find it easier to compensate for an unclear market and safety situation in specific countries,” says Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, summing up events in the halls of the world’s biggest medical trade fair and of the leading international trade fair for suppliers’ products in medical manufacture after four days (12 – 15 November 2014). The 4,831 exhibitors at MEDICA as well as the 724 exhibitors at COMPAMED gave the again almost 130,000 visitors (2013: 132,000) impressive proof of the benefit of their product innovations and wealth of ideas for high-quality and affordable health care. Approx. 84,000 visitors came from abroad travelling from some 120 countries to Düsseldorf. The average length of stay rose to 2.2 days. Just as important for exhibitors is the visitors’ decision-making authority. MEDICA also boasts top scores here. Over 70% of visitors have a say or are decisively involved in purchasing decisions; add to these another 10% who are involved in a consulting capacity.
The latest reports from industry associations underscore just how important MEDICA and COMPAMED are as drivers for suppliers’ international business. 85% of the medical device technology companies in the German Medical Technology Association BVMed polled expect sales to rise over the previous year, driven especially by dynamic export business. Explaining trends Marcus Kuhlmann, Head of the Medical Technology Association in SPECTARIS, the German Hightech Industry Association, says: “This year we expect turnover at the 1,200 Germany medical technology manufacturers to exceed EUR 25 billion for the first time, with growth abroad developing more strongly than it is on the domestic market. Exports account for 68%”. In view of the trade fair business Kuhlmann emphasises: “MEDICA continues to be an outstanding possibility for companies to present themselves and their products and is therefore a “must”.”
Re-Launch of Conference Program bears Fruit
To also meet the needs of international visitors in future, MEDICA’s accompanying conference program has been fundamentally restructured over the past two years – now boasting highlights not only for German trade visitors and conferences on very specific topics.
Forming a mainstay of the program is the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE. For the first time now, the German Society for Internal Medicine (DGIM) was in charge of its contents. Summing up the outcome Conference President Prof. Dr. Hendrik Lehnert said: “Participant feedback on the choice of topics and speakers was extremely positive. Presenting current scientific developments, on the one hand, and practical medical technology applications, on the other, in a compact format, has clearly struck a nerve.”
DiMiMED, the International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine, registered a further increase in participants with high-ranking representatives from the armed forces of over 20 nations. “Military medical services render outstanding performance worldwide under often very difficult conditions. The opportunity to exchange experiences amongst participants and know-how with medical technology manufacturers was boosted significantly at DiMiMED,” said Dr. Christoph Büttner, the Scientific Head of the Conference (Beta Group), summing up.
The MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE for sports and preventive medicine also enjoyed growing attendance. Here renowned experts like Prof. Dr. Tim Meyer, physician to Germany’s national football team, or Prof. Jonathan Clark, medical director of the Red Bull-Stratos project, provided visitors with exciting insights into the latest methods used in performance diagnostics and sports medicine. Aspects that doctors regularly face as routine were not neglected in the English lectures either. Generating great interest was the session on preventing lack of exercise in children. Speaker Dr. Birgit Böhm (Faculty for Sport and Health Sciences /TU Munich) surprised the audience with the insight that specific sports programmes of gaming consoles (when played energetically via controller) can by all means be considered as useful exercise.
Newly incorporated into the programme, the MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE addressed not only pain treatment aspects in physiotherapy but also preventive approaches. Among other things, participants learnt about the positive effect of weight training on older people and how medical fitness training schemes can improve patient loyalty and extend the service portfolio of doctors’ surgeries.
Hospital Conference – Treatment Quality and How it is Financed
The 37th German Hospital Conference focused on the future challenges for hospital politics under the general heading of “Best Quality requires a Better Financing”, to name but one subject. Alongside the political debate on the planned hospital reform for 2015, other focal themes included the challenges posed by an ageing population for nursing care management, IT in clinics, quality and hospital planning as well as specialist care for out- patients as a driver for cross-sector cooperation. The 37th German Hospital Conference counted almost 1,800 participants.
Cost-Benefit Ratio Must ad Up
The discussions held at MEDICA’s well-attended themed Forums – such as the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM or the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM – along with the product innovations displayed by exhibitors can be summed up as follows: the efficiency and easy handling of medical devices and products is becoming a pivotal purchase criterion. “Quality in care and efficiency are becoming more and more important for patients at clinics and doctors’ practices. The numerous innovations and improvements on show at MEDICA make important contributions to this,” explains Hans-Peter Bursig, General Manager of the Electromedical Technology Association in the Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI). There is demand for products/services of major benefit for specific treatments and ones that simplify processes. And here cost is not so much an issue. This also applies to the area of ultrasonic imaging, for example, where flexible ultrasonic probes introduced through the oesophagus furnish detailed, close-up images of the heart. Thanks to this new technology, surgeons find it easier to assess the blood flow “live” during heart valve procedures to ensure that the repaired valve or valve replacement works properly. This can reduce the need for additional corrective procedures.
Speaking at the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE, Prof. Dr. Andreas Schuler, board member at the German Association of Ultrasound in Medicine, stressed: “Modern technology, however, does not help patients if it is in the hands of inadequately trained physicians. This is why we recommend everyone working with ultrasonic devices to obtain qualifications through certified training and continuous medical education.” He went on to say that the qualifications of the treating physicians most definitely had to keep pace with developments in high-tech medicine.
COMPAMED – Suppliers as Competent Partners
Regularly held in parallel with MEDICA, COMPAMED succeeded in further consolidating its position as the leading international event for suppliers to the medical manufacturing sector, registering in excess of 700 exhibitors for the first time. Companies as well as research institutes presented themselves in Halls 8a and 8b with their high-tech solutions to just under 17,000 visitors as competent partners for development and production in medical device technology. This time the focus was specifically on miniaturised components, functional materials, intuitive control units and high-precision processes designed to make medical products cheaper, safer and more reliable in future. Application examples included mobile analysis, therapy and control devices. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS (Dresden) presented a compact device for analysing prostate tissue at COMPAMED. The laboratory apparatus, which has already successfully completed first clinical tests, will ease diagnosis for physicians in future: through an automated optical analysis based on laser pulses they will be able to diagnose carcinoma reliably within as little as 90 seconds. So far, comparative tissue analyses were far more labour-intensive and therefore also more costly.
From 2015 MEDICA and COMPAMED to be held from Monday to Thursday
From November next year MEDICA and COMPAMED will always be held in Düsseldorf from Monday to Thursday and will run concurrently on all four days. The concentration on “normal” week and working days from Monday to Thursday (instead of from Wednesday to Saturday as before) will in future make for an even better distribution of the trade audience on all four days and a more uniform utilization of exhibitors’ presentations and their infrastructure.
Dates of next MEDICA in Düsseldorf: 16 – 19 November 2015
Dates of next COMPAMED in Düsseldorf: 16 – 19 November 2015