Rehacare Press Releases

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October 2017

Press Contact:

Anne Meerboth-Maltz
Tel. (312)781-5185
Fax (312) 781-5188

Messe Düsseldorf North America
150 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 2920
Chicago, IL 60601


At its 40th anniversary, REHACARE INTERNATIONAL 2017, International Trade Fair for Rehabilitation and Care, attracted about 39,000 industry professionals, people with disabilities and their families from over 70 countries. At Europe’s leading event for this industry, 780 exhibitors from 39 nations presented innovative products and services and addressed current disability and health politics issues (100 of these companies were associations and organizations from the self help and social work sector).

“In view of the demographic development and the increase in people who require care, the demand for products and services for rehabilitation and care continues to rise. The interest in geriatric services has also increased. REHACARE INTERNATIONAL 2017 was the perfect marketplace and showcased all the possibilities for enabling independent living as much as possible. The presentations from all of our exhibitors and the information provided in the forums and themed sections were very well received,” stated Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf.

The German Association for Independent Living for People with Disabilities, Chronic Conditions and their Relatives (BAG) celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and has participated in REHACARE since the very beginning 40 years ago, contributing significantly to establish and advance the trade fair. Dr. Martin Danner, Managing Director of BAG Selbsthilfe, commented: “On the 40th anniversary of the trade fair, we can see that great advancements have been made in rehabilitation and aid provision both over the last few years and over the centuries. This year, it was once again clear that many innovation opportunities are currently on the market. Digitalization, autonomous driving, new advances in material development and in product usability are the most noteworthy. The importance of REHACARE as an exchange platform for rehabilitation and aids has been proven once again - and very impressively.” BAG Selbsthilfe is a state-wide union of 120 organizations for the disabled, chronically ill and their families, representing their interests.

One of the leading topics at REHACARE 2017 was mobility. Wheelchairs, scooters, walking frames and specially converted or fitted vehicles: the exhibitors showed the entire range of the latest technology to assist the disabled in their daily routines. Wheelchairs steered by using smart glasses alone, robotic exoskeletons and cars with gas, braking and steering functions controlled by digital systems linked to a joystick were a few of these innovations. Overall, international exhibitors are increasingly using REHACARE as a platform to present futuristic product concepts and to showcase prototypes that will soon be available on the market.

One highlight in this connection was the CYBATHLON Experience, presented by The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zürich). People with physical disabilities competed to determine the best intelligent technical assistance system by using two different obstacle courses, one for wheelchairs and one for robotic exoskeletons. Prof. Robert Riener, the founder of CYBATHLON and the Director of the Department for Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zürich, was very pleased with the response of the visitors: “It’s great to be able to discuss our technology with potential users and their friends and families as well as the medical experts and industry professionals here in Düsseldorf. This exchange meant that we were immediately able to see how well our technology can help people with disabilities today and what it needs to be able to do in the future. It’s the ideal platform for our mission: improving technology for day-to-day life.”

Sports also played an important role at REHCARE. Hall 7a was transformed into a huge stadium and visitors were able to try out sports such as track and field, archery, table football for blind people and wheelchair basketball

The REHACARE ancillary program consisted of a large range of forums and conferences. While the REHACARE Forum featured experts from independent living, social care and political sectors addressing the topic “People with disabilities in the working world”, the “Living with Care@Home” forum by the Lower Rhine Care Academy offered a diverse range of further education opportunities for both care professionals and caregivers. Heike Senge, Managing Director of the Lower Rhine Care Academy, was delighted by the participation throughout all four themed days: “It is clear that skilled care workers and caregivers made time to specifically come to this forum and had a lot of time for our presentations. The “Wound Day” event was particularly popular, as it addressed the topic of bedsore prophylaxis and care, which is of interest to almost everyone who cares for someone. I hope that the knowledge that was discussed here will be implemented by the experts in management and will thus contribute to filling the gaps that are currently still present in care management. If prophylactic measures are applied in good time, both physical pain and financial cost can be reduced.”

The REHACARE “Our Neighborhood: Our Home” conference, led by the German Board for Geriatric Care (KDA), focused on how to finance successful living areas for the geriatric population. In addition, exhibitors from the social care and housing sectors as well as financial service providers presented information at the accompanying “Neighborhood Housing Market”.

The next REHACARE INTERNATIONAL will take place from September 26 – 29, 2018 in Düsseldorf, Germany. For further information on visiting or exhibiting at REHACARE 2019, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 781-5180; Fax: (312) 781-5188; E-mail:; Visit our web site; Subscribe to our blog; Follow us on twitter at

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