In a Challenging and Demanding Market Environment

International decision-making elite of the healthcare industry demonstrates presence – new thematic hall structure well received (Source: Messe Düsseldorf)

The demand market for medical technology and medical products is becoming increasingly challenging and discriminating worldwide. Providers are adapting to this on a flexible basis and furnishing appropriate answers that include innovations for modern and cost-efficient medical care. Visitors were able to see this for themselves at Medica, the world’s largest medical trade fair, and Compamed, the leading trade fair for the medical technology manufacturing supplier market, both of which took place in Düsseldorf. The slogan “Be Part of the No. 1” was embraced by experts from all areas of the health industry, who provided for a slight increase in the number of visitors to the fully utilized exhibition halls over the four days of the fair (18 – 21 November 2019).

“Medica and Compamed are the no. 1 market platforms for international business. Through their exhibitor and visitor numbers, they have confirmed their role as growth drivers for exports. This is in the interests of suppliers, of whom a great deal is currently being demanded in this market environment. Increasing trade restrictions, uncertainty in regard to Brexit, growing pressure on margins and other challenges, including ever more complex approval procedures for medical products, should be mentioned in this context,” says Wolfram Diener, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, summing up the trade fair environment. Some 5500 exhibitors at Medica and nearly 800 at Compamed ensured a new record in participation. Something that was seen as positive particularly from the point of view of the many international exhibitors was the fact that more than ninety percent of the 121,000 trade visitors have decision-making authority. Two-thirds of the visitors came from abroad, representing some 170 countries.

Numerous delegations with senior decision-makers from regions including Asia, North Africa and South America contributed to this high degree of internationality, which very much accommodates the export interests of many suppliers.

“Medica is not only the most important event of the year for many of our members from the medical technology sector. With its many visitors and exhibitors, it is also the world’s leading trade fair for the industry”, says Jörg Mayer, executive director of the German industry association Spectaris. Together with Germany’s association for electromedical technology ZVEI, Spectaris organized the Medica Tech Forum in Hall 12, which dealt with questions including international market access and regulatory requirements for medical technology and was well received by visitors. In this regard, there was a particular focus on the national markets of China and Russia.

There was a great deal of positive feedback regarding the new allocation to the exhibition halls according to topic. The large national and international joint exhibition areas were given more space in Halls 15 to 17. The manufacturers of surgical instruments were moved from Hall 13 to Halls 10 and 11 so that they could be closer to the suppliers of complete OR solutions and imaging processes, given the common ground they share thematically. The Medica segment relating to information and communication technology for the first time was presented with its exhibitors and specialist forums in Hall 13 (previously in Hall 15), linking it directly with the halls dedicated to medical technology and electro-medicine.

Focus on robotics and how this technology will be used in future

An example of this development is medical robotics applications, which represented a content focal point at Medica 2019 and will become even more important in future. Kuka, one of the leading providers of robotics and automation solutions, used the Medica platform to demonstrate a variety of possible applications for its lightweight medical robot “LBR Med” in the final round of its “Innovation Award”. The spectrum of award topics ranged from a robot platform with magnetic capsules for early detection of colon cancer to an application that provides robot-supported laser treatment for varicose veins and robot-assisted, personalized back massages. “temi” was another innovation at Medica. This home-care robot is manufactured by Medisana and is a digital everyday aid that aims to help people remain in their own homes far into old age.

Robert Geiger, managing director of Aktormed, explains that use of robots is not intended to replace doctors but to provide optimal support for the “human factor”: “Our robot-assisted assistance systems allow the surgeon to perform minimally invasive, highly precise operations while reducing the strain on medical personnel to the greatest extent possible.” The company sees itself as market leader in the area of robotic camera control, has been a Medica exhibitor since 2013 and this year was located in the middle of the electro-medicine area in Hall 10 for the first time. “We are interested in B2B relationships. The success of our Medica contacts can therefore only be assessed in an interval of one to two years. Looking back on our initial years at the fair, we are very satisfied,” says Robert Geiger.

The groundbreaking topic of medical robotics is now included in the exhibitor product categories of Medica. In this way, companies with expertise in “Medical Robotics”, such as Kuka, Aktormed, intelligent motion and Stryker, can now be quickly identified by visitors.

No digitalization in medical technology without suppliers

The basis for such outstanding athletic performances using cutting-edge technologies is also laid by numerous companies, which presented their innovations at the parallel fair Compamed in Halls 8a and 8b. Nearly 800 exhibitors from 41 nations set a new record for the leading international industry platform for suppliers to the medical technology industry. This area is currently benefiting above all from the demand for increasingly powerful components and digitalised solutions for mobile devices for diagnostics, therapy and laboratory equipment.

“Microtechnologies are key to the digitalisation of medical technology. Without miniaturised components and processes that enable ultra-precise manufacturing, portable and networked devices that transmit and evaluate vital parameters or medication would not be possible,” explains Dr. Thomas Dietrich, executive director of the IVAM professional association for microtechnology.

The strong demand for miniaturized components, such as tiny components for so-called lab-on-a-chip applications, was also highlighted by the range of innovations of the 55 exhibitors participating in IVAM’s joint exhibition stand. Current trends on the supplier market were also addressed in the two specialist forums integrated into Compamed, which offered a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the development, manufacture and approval of medical products – from electronics manufacturing to machining of plastics and metal all the way through to regulations. (Source: Messe Düsseldorf)

Link: MEDICA / COMPAMED, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Duesseldorf, Germany

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