Statement on MEDICA 2015 by Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine
MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine in Düsseldorf.

Statement on MEDICA 2015 by Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

To get to the top is difficult; to stay at the top is even more difficult. Every athlete knows that and this also applies to the trade show business. In this way, defending the uncontested leading position of the world’s largest and internationally leading medical trade show, MEDICA in Düsseldorf, means downright physical exertion. Based on market analyses, trend research, suggestions made by industry experts and, last but not least, in open discussion with exhibitors, the MEDICA has been reformed successively at a conceptual level in recent years with new forums and accompanying conferences. The subject matter is being continuously adapted to the needs of specialist visitors and exhibitors in close cooperation with committees involving the most important industry associations.

A significant change also entails the results of intensive evaluation of exhibitor and visitor surveys, as well as coordination with industry associations. It concerns the running time of the MEDICA in addition to the supplier trade show, taking place at the same time, COMPAMED. From this year on, both events will run over the course of four days in parallel to each other, meaning on the new weekdays from Monday to Thursdays this year from November 16th to the 19th . Focusing on the “normal” working days of the week (instead of Wednesday to Saturday as has been the case up until now) will make it possible to provide better guest distribution for the professional audience across the entire running time in the future, enabling exhibitor presentations as well as their stand infrastructure to be utilized in a more consistent manner.

What applies to the MEDICA and COMPAMED also applies to the market players of the medical technology industry. The only ones that stay at the top are those with creativity and a continuous level of agility conform to market interests and developments.

Global growth markets with challenges

The initial situation in medical technology and medical product market can be deemed as good on a worldwide level. No matter which study performed by renowned consulting companies or industry associations this is based on, further market development is expected. The basis for this has been provided for by rising health expenditures due to the related demographic development, an overall rise in health awareness as well as an increase in diseases of prosperity, even in numerous emerging nations. For example, Deloitte assumes that medical technology industry sales will rise from around currently 330 billion euros to around 470 billion euros in 2020 (source: study “Healthcare and Life Sciences Predictions 2020”).

Regardless of an overall high orientation for innovation, providers see themselves facing a market in the state of upheaval. In hospitals, investment decisions are primarily made by medical boards, in which, in addition to doctors, those responsible for commercial aspects also have a heavy say. The latest equipment is only in demand if it truly signifies an optimum benefit that is deemed necessary for the treatment process. In addition to increasingly taking benefit into account from the perspective of the patient, the overall role of the patient is being taken more actively.

Digitalization of patients

What started as mini-programs for smartphones and fitness armbands has developed into a mega-trend and will considerably shape treatment in the future, such as after an inpatient care at home for example. Physical data that is becoming more and more relevant on a medical level can literally be detected, processed and transmitted in the twinkling of an eye. The number of medical “apps” is rising on an almost daily basis. Experts currently assume that there are around 55,000 such apps (according to expert conferences at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Products, BfArM). And no matter if approval as a medical product in the combination of hardware and software exists, the health aware patients are the ones who are already handing the equipment and who are increasingly confronting their treating doctors with the data that has been collected on their own. This development will continue to intensify seeing that the benefit for patients just seems to be too appealing. Those who use, for example, their smartphones, tablet PCs or, in the future their smartwatches, for the organization of their daily routine will have to in fact rely on digital aids in their old age in order to be able to live at home in a self-determined manner for as long as possible.

In light of this, medical technology providers will have to take up such trends. And also, the MEDICA has to be in line with its role as a trendsetter.

As a logical consequence, the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM as part of the MEDICA 2014 will be celebrating its highly regarded premier with around 2,000 participants within the scope of primarily English presentations and is going to be continued this year as an important program highlight. A key thematic focus will be on what is an especially relevant question for the health systems on a transnational level: How can healthcare industry players be networked with each other using related technology solutions in a safe and simple manner while taking patients into consideration?

In the process, mobile health applications are a primary focus, whereby, this year as well, the MEDICA app competition organized by Mark Wächter will be providing exciting ideas with regard to helpful mobile device applications.

In addition to the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM, the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, which was established several years ago and has always been presenting innovations, is also reflecting trendy topics in the field of Heath IT. This is the primary emphasis in the broad field of telemedicine.

Conferences closely integrated into the trade show

Most recently, with at least 4,500 exhibitors and around 130,000 specialist visitors (portion of international visitors: more than 50 percent), the MEDICA is undisputedly the leading market and information platform at an international level. In recent years, in order to also meet the needs of the international professional public in the future, the program of accompanying conferences and forms integrated into the trade show have been radically restructured and aligned at a more international level with many highlights in the English language.

Also this year again, the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE that was first organized in 2014 by the German Society for Internal Medicine (DGIM), is offering an impressive interdisciplinary program. Key topics for the individual conference days provide for a clearly arranged content-related profile. Going by the conference motto “Science Meets Medical Technology”, the four daily topics have been selected in such a way that they result in a close integration with the trade show’s medical technological innovations. Key topics at this year’s MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE include: Surgery and new operational techniques (16/11), imaging, endoscopy and interventions (17/11), geriatrics, nutritional medicine and palliative care (18/11) as well as infectiology, infection and laboratory medicine (19/11).

With reference to the conference program, being oriented toward those interested, belonging to important target groups, MEDICA is also ensuring that what is being further offered will also be linked to the topics of the trade show. An example of this includes the 38th 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 “practical issues”, e.g. aspects of hospital IT and human resource management. This year, the German Hospital Day will be complemented by the European Hospital Conference, which takes place every two years, being a gathering for top decision-makers from European hospitals for the purpose of exchanging their expertise.

The conference for disaster and military medicine, DiMiMED, as well as the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE (respectively on November 17th and 18th, 2015/ Congress Center Düsseldorf South), concerning prevention issues and sports medical treatment concepts must be noted. It has to do with conferences held in the English language that are geared for an international audience.

For high-level representatives from military ranks, MEDICA exhibitors are, for example, offering an abundance of solutions for very special issues – ranging from equipment for emergency treatment, telemedicine applications for the secure transfer of data between vehicles and military hospitals to a complete array of surgery equipment, all the way to customized turnkey building modules.

The same is true of the “bridge building” between the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE and the innovations being presented as part of the trade show. This is because modern performance diagnostics in terms of injury prevention can make use of technology that is more compact and used in close contact with the body. So-called wearables and smartwatches are on the rise. Sensors detect a great variety of vital signs that could be of relevance for sports medicine specialists providing treatment from a therapeutic point of view. Those making a round in hall 15 at the MEDICA will, for example, be quite convinced that the uncomfortable chest harness for collecting body parameters will soon already be obsolete in light of the presentations at the Wearable Technologies Show. Heart rate, oxygen saturation or body temperature can also be determined using fine sensors integrated into textiles, ear clips or plug-in attachments for smartphones.

The MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE organized by the Thieme Publishing House is also dedicated to trend topics. With its treatment-oriented presentations, it is directed toward the professional scene of physiotherapists, sports medicine specialists and orthopedists and is taking place this year on November 18th and 19th,/ Congress Center Düsseldorf South).

Forums directly at the trade show

In addition to the MEDICA conference program, the numerous forums integrated directly into the trade show convey significant developments. These respectively include the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM and the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (in hall 15 respectively) as well as the MEDICA TECH FORUM (medical technology industry innovations as well as political, economic and legal framework conditions for the field of high-tech medicine/hall 12). Furthermore, a great deal of significance has been given to the MEDICA ECON FORUM (hall 15), jointly initiated by Messe Düsseldorf and the "Techniker Krankenkasse" (TK), a German health insurance company, on issues of benefit assessment and funding innovation, primarily from the perspective of patients and cost bearers.

Unique on a worldwide level - varied range of offers

A central strength of the MEDICA is that it not only deals with solutions for individual medical specialist disciplines at a single place and a single time, but for the complete “workflow” of patient treatment.

Once again, approx. 4,800 exhibitors from more than 60 nations will use the MEDICA 2015 in order to present the entire range of new products, services and processes for inpatient and outpatient care on over 116,000 square meters of booked floor space. No other event worldwide even offers close to this abundance of innovations.

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.

COMPAMED – suppliers as innovation drivers

Modern diagnostics and therapeutic procedures do not only require a high level of product development expertise on the part of the medical technology industry, but also its suppliers that are being presented as part of the COMPAMED. The COMPAMED is taking place from November 16th to the 19th, 2015 over a period of four days for the first time, thereby being held in the future at the exact same time as the MEDICA over the days running from Monday to Thursday.

Within the scope of the international leading platform for suppliers, in halls 8a and 8b, more than 700 exhibitors are presenting their technological solutions and service offers for various requirements profiles and tasks of medical technology providers – from new materials, components, primary products, packaging and services such as spare parts handling for example all the way to complete custom manufacturing.

Here, microsystem technology solutions for mobile diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy systems are particularly trendy, whereby currently the field of optical processes is particularly being developed on a dynamic level. For example, microcomponents for minimally invasive diagnostics must be mentioned or also optical components for use with laboratory equipment. Sample examinations that had to be performed under a microscope with a great deal of effort can now be simple done at the press of a button using a device – in just minutes based on the latest findings with regard to the light behavior of malignant and benign tissue when exposed to a laser pulse.

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 2014, the two fairs welcomed a total of 130,000 specialist visitors, around 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.

MEDICA + COMPAMED dates: November 26th – 19th, 2015

Opening times: 10:00 am - 6:30 pm

Location: Düsseldorf Fairgrounds

Information about MEDICA 2015 is available online at: Look here!
Information about COMPAMED 2015 is available online at: Look here!
Contact to the press team of MEDICA 2015: Look here!