The only way is app! MEDICA App COMPETITION 2019 launches
The only way is app! MEDICA App COMPETITION 2019 launches
MEDICA remains the hotspot for start-ups in the health sector
Held in Düsseldorf, the world’s leading medical trade fair, MEDICA, is also the world’s number 1 when it comes to start-ups in the health sector. Accordingly, several hundred start-ups will once again be among the more than 5,000 exhibitors that are bringing their innovations for inpatient and outpatient healthcare to MEDICA 2019 from 18 to 21 November. They can, for example, be found at the numerous international joint booths from countries such as Israel, France and Finland, among others. However, MEDICA also offers creative young companies special event formats to present their products and enter into target-oriented dialogues with potential business partners. Examples of these are the MEDICA START-UP PARK, the daily MEDICA DISRUPT pitches at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM as well as the MEDICA App COMPETITION and the INNOVATION WORLD CUP (all in Hall 13).
The schedule for the first two days of the trade fair includes the final rounds of the MEDICA App COMPETITION and the INNOVATION WORLD CUP (in the Healthcare category).
On Tuesday, 19 November, the developer teams will present the best international healthcare app solutions at the pitch of the eighth MEDICA App COMPETITION (MAC), which will take place in Hall 13. The prizes will be awarded on the same day. Entrants can apply until 18 September. The competition aims to drive the development of innovations to ensure these enter the daily use of patients, doctors and hospitals. The MEDICA App COMPETITION jury rates entries according to the following criteria: Degree of innovation, commercial potential, technological feasibility, marketing approach, time required until launch, required investments.
The most important MAC award for all finalists is undoubtedly the global awareness that MEDICA provides with its international professional visitors from around 170 countries. In addition, this year’s first place winner will be honoured with EUR 2,000, the second place will be awarded EUR 1,000 and the third place will receive EUR 500. Information on the competition and how to register is available online at http://www.medica-tradefair.com/mac2.
A creative idea becomes practical reality
Taking a look at FibriCheck, last year’s winner, provides an impression of potential topics. The Belgian winning app has already been recognised by the FDA, the regulatory authority in the USA. The app recognises various cardiac arrhythmias with a smartphone camera and creates a report for both doctor and patient. However, contestants are not required to comply with the Medical Device Directive or have FDA Approval to enter the MAC.
Incidentally, FibriCheck is among the first start-ups funded by the Digital Health Accelerator programme, initiated by Roche. The company is one of the partners of this year’s MEDICA App COMPETITION, as are Bayer G4A. In 2013, Bayer G4A launched their first accelerator programme for digital health initiatives. Since then, their requirements for start-ups have become stricter, with longer-term cooperations and financing opportunities offered in return. The start-ups receive a lump sum payment of the initial start-up funding. Once they reach certain milestones, the young companies can claim further payments. Since its launch, Bayer G4A has funded more than 149 teams of founders with its start-up programme, resulting in 29 concrete cooperations.
Kaia, a back training app, is a good example of how apps that are presented at MAC are not just good ideas in theory, but also stand up to daily, practical use. The app came third in the 2017 MAC. Today, German health insurance company Barmer offers their customers a free, one-year trial. After that period, users can decide whether they would like to pay to continue to use the app for multidisciplinary back pain therapy in accordance with the relevant guidelines and without being forced to subscribe.
The INNOVATION WORLD CUP has the devices you need
The INNOVATION WORLD CUP finals (http://www.innovationworldcup) in the Healthcare category will also take place during MEDICA 2019, as part of the MEDICA DISRUPT programme, and will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, 18 November. Here, the best medical IoT solutions will be presented (IoT = Internet of Things). Entries to this thrilling competition are also open until 18 September. Ten finalists will be selected from among the several hundred contestants and will have the opportunity to present their innovation in the finals. StethoMe, a cordless stethoscope that laypeople can use to examine their children’s heart and lungs, was the noteworthy winner in 2018. The start-up aims to allow parents to quickly check their child’s airways any where, any time and exchange the data with medical experts.
The meeting point in the MEDICA START-UP PARK
If you are interested in start-ups and their concepts for improved and simplified healthcare, the MEDICA START-UP PARK (http://www.medica-tradefair.com/msup2) remains a staple of every visit to the trade fair. The park is located centrally in the Digital Health area in Hall 13. More than thirty start-ups have already registered. Six of them benefit from the support provided by the Merck Group’s global accelerator programme. This highly research-driven science and technology company is based in Darmstadt and supports start-ups with the objective of entering into a partnership with them. Besides funding, the Merck Group offers access to the facilities and venues at the Merck Innovation Center as well as the opportunity of joining a network of over 50,000 experts and alumni in 67 countries.
The accelerator programmes provided by the Merck Group and Bayer G4A represent an entire range of similar funding initiatives. Which is why the Reverse Pitch is sure to be a new highlight for start-ups at MEDICA 2019. This will take place on the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM stage at 3 p.m. on 19 November, directly after the final round of the MEDICA App COMPETITION. Here, companies present their accelerator programmes to woo the start-ups. First, the start-ups introduce themselves, followed by the accelerators—and then both parties use the get-together to decide whether they are a perfect fit. As you can see, here in Düsseldorf, we put a clear emphasis on networking.
The boom in healthcare apps is also reflected in the daily MEDICA DISRUPT pitches at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (http://www.medica-tradefair.com/mchf2). Here, over one hundred selected start-ups present their products and solutions.
Information on MEDICA 2019, the new thematic allocation of floor space and the programmes of the accompanying forums and conferences are available online at: http://www.medica-tradefair.com.
Authort: Dr. Lutz Retzlaff, freelance medical journalist (Neuss)
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