Interview with Christian Stammel, CEO, Wearable Technologies AG
Launched in 2013, the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE has quickly become an integral part of the MEDICA trade fair. 2018 is no exception and the list of speakers reads like a Who’s Who of sports medicine. During a conference kickoff meeting, Christian Stammel sat down with us to talk about the topics that will shape the MMSC 2018.
In this MEDICA-tradefair.com, find out more about the conference highlights, learn what research in elite sport can do for recreational sports and society as a whole and discover the digital future of sports medicine.
Mr. Stammel, what can MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE visitors look forward to this year? What are some of the highlights?
Christian Stammel: This year’s highlights include a presentation by Philippe Furrer of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on "Active Cities", as well as the panel discussion on "Exercise is Medicine" featuring leading representatives of the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, and Tunisia. The panel examines whether the populations of the individual countries meet the World Health Organization’s guidelines on physical activity levels for health, which measures are taken, and which ones are successful and effective. Another highlight: Corporate fitness is featured on the agenda for the very first time. We spend a lot of time at work every day. That’s why activity should also be encouraged in the workplace. We showcase "best practice" examples for this setting. And of course, it goes without saying that many health technology innovations that shape elite and recreational sports are once again on the agenda.
Which current sports medicine issues does the MMSC 2018 examine?
Stammel: As mentioned previously, the "Exercise is Medicine" initiative is at the top of the international sports medicine agenda. Many people and entire nations don’t get enough exercise, which results in a sharp increase in lifestyle diseases including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and obesity. Regular physical activity considerably improves the health of many patients and can help prevent disease. The MMSC showcases sport-specific programs, as well as programs for people affected by back pain or excess weight.
The schedule includes many digital solutions including vital sign monitoring with wearables and digital training solutions for athletes. Will the future of sports medicine only take place in a digital setting?
Stammel: Needless to say, things will not exclusively happen in the digital realm. However, digital transformation has not only found its way into elite sports, but has also conquered recreational sports. All top athletes study their performance and health parameters on a regular basis and are interested in monitoring other performance indicators and gaining access to assessments – in real-time if possible, allowing them to adjust their training and exercise routines.
Many of these digital innovations make medical advances accessible to millions of persons affected. Allow me to illustrate this by using the Freestyle Libre diabetes patch as an example. This system has made living with diabetes much better and easier for many patients around the world. What’s interesting is that many athletes who don’t suffer from diabetes also use this smart patch to get more information on how their blood sugar levels change before, during and after their training. Of course, there are also numerous innovations related to asthma, obesity, metabolic syndrome and various cardiovascular diseases in addition to those directed at diabetes. At this point, there are several certified medical wearables available on the market for long-term ECG monitoring. This gives physicians more data to assess patient health and introduce the corresponding measures versus the limited data obtained while the patient sits on an ergometer for half an hour at the doctor’s office.
This marks the sixth time the Conference takes place at MEDICA. How has it changed over the years? What changes do you strive for in the future?
Stammel: When it comes to content, we will continue to champion innovation and networking in the future. This Conference is growing year after year and has quickly established itself as an international meeting point that drives innovation.
What’s more, the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE is also the central dialogue platform that connects science and industry. And this network will continue to expand over the coming years. The world's largest sports medicine associations, including Exercise Is Medicine (American College of Sports Medicine), FIMS (Federation Internationale de Medicine du Sport), DGSP (German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention) and DVS (German Society of Sport Science) are conference partners and want to deepen collaboration with MEDICA.
You can find the complete program of MMSC in our event database