Medica Press Release

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Statement by

Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf
regarding MEDICA 2017 in Düsseldorf, Germany (November 13 – 16)

Those interested in reducing the German economy, its potential for development, the value it creates or the number of people it employs to its most important common denominator have for years come to the same result: Germany is a car nation. But, it should be added that “Germany is a car nation as well as a health nation.” That is because, over the last 10 years, the health economy has grown significantly faster than the economy in general. The number of people in Germany who work in the health sector increased to more than seven million for the first time in 2016. The health industry's industrial segment alone now provides jobs for a good 900,000 people and therefore 100,000 more than the automotive industry does (sources: BMWi/ GGR, VDA).

Irrespective of any discussion about financing and the costs for modern healthcare provisions, the health sector is a stability factor and driver of growth not only in Germany but across the world. Europe and the U.S. are still the main export markets for medical-equipment companies, many of which will be represented at the world's No. 1 trade fair for the sector – MEDICA – which will take place in Düsseldorf, Germany from November 13 – 16, 2017. Looking at the registration status to date we expect more than 5,000 exhibitors from 68 countries to take part.

Besides the ‘classic’ target markets of Europe, North America and Japan, suppliers are also increasingly focusing on emerging economies despite of some uncertainties. That is because people's willingness to spend on health is increasing with rising incomes in these markets. More and more prosperity-related diseases and greater life expectancies in these countries are additionally driving up demand for medical products and modern treatments. The large number of people who will be attending MEDICA from other countries, particularly from Asia, is indicative of these increasing needs. Of the 120,000 to 130,000 trade visitors that come to MEDICA every year, a good 60% travelled to the event from countries other than Germany.

The significantly increased popularity with visitors and exhibitors that the Messe Düsseldorf Group's medical trade fairs are enjoying in opportunity-rich continental markets – for example, the MEDICAL FAIR INDIA and MEDICAL FAIR ASIA – also shows how attractive these markets for medical-equipment suppliers are and demonstrates that a great potential to do business exists there. This applies in particular to the highly innovation-oriented privately funded areas of inpatient and outpatient care.

Rapid change – MEDICA in step with the times
But, just like the automotive industry, the healthcare sector is also experiencing rapid change. Digitization is affecting all aspects of supply and buzzwords such as ‘networking’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ are characterizing the technical discussions and are already affecting production in particular.

MEDICA 2017 will provide professionals with the opportunity of gaining insights into all the developments – during the presentations and talks at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM, during the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM and of course with the exhibitors' new products as well as the exciting MEDICA APP COMPETITION.

More and more health applications for smartphones, tablet PCs and ‘wearables’ – applications that are already enjoying increasing acceptance in the practical world – are going to be presented, for instance, within the appropriately relevant contexts. 45% of German smartphone owners are already using health apps and another 45% can see themselves using them in the future. A further 60% of people in Germany approve of the concept of an electronic patient file that could be used to store their medical data centrally (Source: Bitkom/ Bayerische TelemedAllianz BTA).

That is why one of the leading German health insurance providers has taken the initiative and commissioned the development of an electronic patient file for its more than 10 million clients. The plan is for customers to be able to access their health and treatment data on a central server with the help of a security code and an app or Internet browser. Standardized interfaces are to be implemented to enable the data to be exchanged between IT systems in doctors' practices and clinics.

The project will certainly be a topic for controversial discussion at the MEDICA ECON FORUM (platform for political dialogue on health issues / Hall 15), which is organized at MEDICA 2017 by the Techniker Krankenkasse. That is because the IT infrastructure for electronic patient data, which has been on hold for years, was to provide comparable functions for all people covered by health insurance.

Artificial intelligence is another challenge that the healthcare sector is facing. A robot that is able to automatically set up needles for infusions and biopsies was already presented to an amazed expert audience at MEDICA 2016. It is therefore not surprising that artificial intelligence is on the agenda for this year's MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM. Because what previously seemed like ‘science fiction’ is currently on the threshold of becoming reality in concrete and plausible applications. IBM's ‘Watson’ cognitive assist system, for example, is already helping to diagnose rare diseases at the University Clinic of Marburg (Germany) by analyzing patient data and comparing it with huge quantities of information about successfully solved previous cases and searching for documented symptoms and the drugs administered accordingly. The analysis also takes digitized medical knowledge sourced from databases, publications and even Wikipedia into account. It is then able to generate a list of probable diagnoses.

Developments in the field of medical imaging appear just as revolutionary. The first applications to use artificial intelligence for the automated detection of possible tumors on the basis of digitally generated image data from CRT or MRT systems are about to be launched on the market.

These examples demonstrate the dynamic that the healthcare sector is currently experiencing. For the ‘market players’ in the field of medical technology this means: Only those who use their creativity and power of development to consistently align themselves with customer interests and market developments will be able to succeed.

This also applies to MEDICA – as well as to the currently held COMPAMED trade fair for suppliers. This event is also the No. 1 trade fair for its sector.

New program highlights for topical subjects
With the aim of meeting the needs of the international professional public even into the future, the program for the accompanying conferences and the forums integrated into the trade fair have, over recent years, been radically restructured and aligned at a more international level with many lectures also presented in English and rounded off by ever-new formats that focus on topical subjects.

The dynamic that characterizes eHealth applications and the digital networking of those involved in the health sector are producing interesting business options, for example, particularly for creative start-ups – be it in innovative services, smart products or software applications. That is why the new MEDICA START-UP PARK has been created in Hall 15 with the intention of matching up developers of innovative businesses with potential business partners, investors and distribution partners. With the aim of complementing the contents that are going to be presented at MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM and the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM (both also in Hall 15), up to 40 start-ups will present their ideas on a total area of 5,400 square feet in direct proximity to these events.

The MEDICA LABMED FORUM (Hall 18) is also new this year. Under the key heading of “The Interdisciplinary Fascination”, laboratory medicine, molecular pathology, microbiology, medical technology and life sciences will present themselves as drivers of innovation and generating new impulses for the entire medical sector.

Four themed days will offer a range of exciting presentations and panel focusing on the following highlights: Preventive screening tests for cancer, cardiac and circulatory conditions, innovative diabetes diagnostic tools, infection and migration. The events will all be held between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm and are free for trade fair visitors with MEDICA tickets. The cooperation partner for the content for the MEDICA LABMED FORUM the medical publishing house Trillium.

The trade fair is ‘modernizing’
Hall 18 is a modern structure that has been built with lightweight materials, located centrally between Halls 10 and 16. This temporary structure was specifically constructed for exhibitors who are presenting products within the MEDICA's laboratory-technology and diagnostics sections, which were previously located in Halls 1 and 2. Background information: The South Entrance of the Messe Düsseldorf fairgrounds is being completely renovated, due for completion in summer 2019. The old Halls 1 and 2 are at the same time going to be replaced with a newly built hall. This new Hall 1, measuring 518 feet in length and 253 feet in width, with over 129,200 square feet of floor space, will be around the same size as Halls 8a and 8b once it is completed.

The new and the tried-and-tested – conferences by professionals for professionals
The MEDICA ACADEMY will be a new part of this year’s conference program. It will be the venue for two workshops devoted to ‘blockbuster’ subjects related to medical practice, to be held on each of the four trade fair days. These will include, for example, ‘updates’ about imaging procedures, modern surgery procedures and also an ultrasound ‘refresher’ course. The MEDICA ACADEMY will also discuss the ‘hand over of practices’ as a highly topical subject in a seminar aimed at both young physicians looking for practices and physicians wishing to pass on their practices.

In addition to the MEDICA ACADEMY, other parts of the MEDICA conference program will bridge the gap to the new products presented at the trade fair through presentations with relevance to highly topical subjects and by focusing on the interests of MEDICA's important target groups. The 40th German Hospital Conference deserves mention here as a leading event for the management of German hospitals. The themes at this conference will range from political health questions and aspects of financing and controlling for hospital services to the presentation of best-practice projects for hospital IT. These will additionally be presented at the same time by the ENTSCHEIDERFABRIK IT (IT DECISION-MAKERS) initiative at a large joint stand in Hall 15. This year, the German Hospital Conference is to be complemented by the European Hospital Conference, which takes place every two years as a meeting point for top decision-makers from European hospitals to exchange ideas.

Other highlights will include the DiMiMED conference for disaster and military medicine (November 14) and the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE (November 15). Both conferences will be held in English and are geared towards an international audience.

The successful MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE, launched in 2014 and organized by the Thieme publishing house, has established itself firmly in the conference program. With its treatment-oriented presentations, it is directed towards professional physiotherapists, sports medicine specialists and orthopedists (November 15 and 16).

Globally unique – varied presentations
Now, and in the future, a central strength of MEDICA continues to be that it does not just deal with solutions for one specific medical specialist discipline, but that it offers solutions for the complete workflow of patient treatment in one place at one time.

The more than 5,000 exhibitors from about 70 countries will use MEDICA 2017 to present their entire range of new products, services and processes for inpatient and outpatient care. No other event worldwide comes even close to this wealth of innovations.

Being clearly structured by halls, the MEDICA trade fair will focus on the following categories: Electromedicine / medical technology (approx. 2,500 exhibitors), laboratory technology / diagnostics, physiotherapy / orthopedic technology, commodities and consumables, information and communication technology, medical furniture and specialist furnishings for hospitals and practices.

COMPAMED – suppliers as creative partners
COMPAMED 2017 will take place concurrently in Halls 8a and 8b. With more than 750 exhibitors, it is the driving force and internationally leading market platform for suppliers to the medical technology industry. The high levels of creativity and development know-how that characterizes the supplier sector means that, over its 25 years of its existence, COMPAMED has become the place to see what the future of medical progress looks like. Be it product development, production and marketing or comprehensive solutions: COMPAMED is the starting point for close collaborations between suppliers and their customers.

This is something that can be demonstrated with the example of diagnostic applications for so-called ‘Point-of-Care Testing’. These are analytical procedures for patient-proximate and rapid while favorably priced and uncomplicated laboratory diagnostics. The equipment used in diagnostics and treatment must operate reliably and automatically in order to be properly utilized. Samples must be directed towards analysis in precisely defined quantities and then processed and tested. Drugs must be adapted and dosed according to the individual disease patterns of the patient. And it is where microfluidic systems play an important role. The development of smallest components and parts has turned out to be highly complex but does provide the necessary basis for great progress in the field of ‘lab-on-a-chip’ technology, for example.

So if an increasing number of illnesses which, just a few years ago, could only be diagnosed with the aid of complex laboratory analyses and that now can be detected with the help of credit card sized mini laboratories, it is the exhibitors at the COMPAMED trade fair and their competence who are driving these developments.

Other innovations that also deserve mention here are those that are being employed in so-called ‘wearables’ and are used to monitor important vital parameters and the functioning of implants. Be it suitable wireless modules for sharing data, the most delicate of sensors, body-compatible materials and coatings or powerful energy supplies that are associated with the smallest of footprints – the latest solutions are going to be presented at the COMPAMED trade fair with the most important aspects also being discussed at the two integrated specialist forums.

This globally unique combination means that both MEDICA and COMPAMED will be reflecting the entire process chain and presenting a comprehensive range of medical products, devices and instruments. Together, they occupy the entire Düsseldorf fairgrounds.

Of the 127,800 specialist visitors who attended MEDICA and COMPAMED in 2016, about 17,000 were particularly interested in the topics covered at COMPAMED. As in previous years, only one ticket is necessary to visit both MEDICA and COMPAMED.

Information about MEDICA 2017 online:

Information about COMPAMED 2017 online:

Messe Dusseldorf North America Located at 150 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL. Phone: 312-781-5180. .