Good international business contacts are becoming increasingly important for manufacturers of medical technology and medical products. Only those that are well-positioned at the international level are able to balance weaknesses in individual markets and profit in the long run from a market that, seen globally, is growing. That is the key message conveyed after four days of events (20-23 November 2013) at the MEDICA 2013, the world’s largest medical trade fair, and the COMPAMED 2013 (20–22 November 2013), the leading trade fair for the supplier market for medical technology manufacturing. More than half of the some 132,000 trade visitors (2012: 130,600) came from abroad, arriving from more than 120 countries. From the 4,641 exhibitors representing 66 countries, visitors obtained information on the entire spectrum of new products for high-quality, efficient medical care – ranging from medical technology and electromedicine, laboratory technology, physiotherapy products and orthopaedic technology to health IT.
“We have observed a growing number of visitors in recent years particularly from those emerging countries that are especially promising for the medical technology industry, namely from among Asian countries, from India, Russia as well as South America and China,” stated Joachim Schäfer, managing director of the Messe Düsseldorf, which has solidly positioned the MEDICA as a leading platform for the global “MedTech” business, with an unrivalled level of internationality. This assessment is shared by Germany’s leading industry associations: SPECTARIS, ZVEI and BVMed draw attention to the significance of exports in their current market forecasts on the MEDICA 2013. According to these reports, international business in the meantime accounts for 68 percent of the almost 23 billion euros in current annual revenues generated by medical technology in Germany. “Not only is the export quota high. Foreign trade is almost the only factor driving growth. “On the other hand, competition in the German market is tough, not least because of the many international players,” Tobias Weiler, managing director of SPECTARIS, explained.
Practical know-how for everyone – specialised knowledge for expert groups
To accommodate, through both trade fair and conference events, the continually growing number of international visitors seen in recent years, the previous conference programme was completely revised for MEDICA 2013. The newly planned MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE was well attended on every day of the event. The conference included, on the one hand as a necessary basis, courses providing advanced training on topics for general practitioners and practical training on devices, which afforded national and European CME certification, as well as high-level scientific workshops on focus topics, presented by highly prominent speakers. These presentations, which were held bilingually (i.e. in German and English), featured current aspects relating to gender medicine, infectiology, hygiene and personalised medicine.
Other offerings at this year’s event that were aimed at an international audience, and thus held in English, were the International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine – DiMiMED, and the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE, addressing special concerns of sports medicine. As premiers at this year’s event, both conferences were extremely well attended and succeeded in closely knitting a transfer of medical knowledge on the one hand with with presentations, by MEDICA exhibitors, of related product innovations on the other. Such products include wearable applications for recording vital body data, “anti-gravity” treadmills that support gentle rehab training and, of particular interest for disaster and military medicine, mobile medical imaging systems as well as emergency equipment for on-site first aid.
The challenges facing hospital policy were the focus of the 36th German Hospital Conference, held under the general theme of Fair Funding – Hospitals in Need of a Future. In addition to the policy discussion, featured topics included the challenges to nursing care management raised by an ageing population, hospital planning and outpatient specialist care. It was gratifying to see the interest shown in the European Hospital Conference, which took place as part of the event for the second time. Among the topics discussed by the international visitors to the conference was the implementation of patient rights in the context of cross-border health care. Almost 1,900 visitors attended the German Hospital Conference and the European Hospital Conference.
In terms of the innovations presented by exhibitors at the MEDICA, a special trend was seen towards compact telemedicine applications for patient monitoring and to compact devices for measuring various body parameters. Analysis is especially easy and even supported by matching health apps that run on smartphones or tablet PCs. A vast number of innovations in the area of medical imaging, foremost utilising ultrasonics, were also seen.
Parallel to the MEDICA, the COMPAMED was held, the international trade fair for the supplier market for medical technology manufacturing. With 681 exhibitors from 37 countries, a new historical record was set for the event. The exhibitors presented to the some 17,000 visitors an abundance of technology and service solutions for use in the “MedTech” industry – everything from new materials, components, preliminary products, packaging and services to complex micro systems and nanotechnology.
Date of the next MEDICA Düsseldorf:
12 - 15 November 2014
Date of the next COMPAMED in Düsseldorf:
12 - 14 November 2014
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Düsseldorf, 23 November 2013