Program plans are underway for MEDICA 2018 - Digital transformation within the healthcare economy remains a hot topic


Forums and conferences are top of the list for our specialist audience


Now that exhibitor registrations for MEDICA 2018 have opened in Düsseldorf, the program planning for the accompanying conferences and forums of the world’s biggest medical trade fair (12 - 15 November) has also been started immediately. “Digital transformation is shaping the health economy worldwide, and changing processes and business models, sometimes radically. We will pursue this hot topic and investigate it from a range of viewpoints in our forums and accompanying conferences”, explained Horst Giesen, Global Portfolio Director for Health & Medical Technology at Messe Düsseldorf, and this is confirmed by the visitor interest. The communication and information platforms MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM and MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (including the MEDICA App COMPETITION) alone counted over 8,000 visitors last year.


The discussions, presentations and speeches in these forums will once again serve to update the visitors (to Hall 15) on essential digitalization and IT trends such as opportunities to implement artificial intelligence, big data analysis via algorithms or cyber security measures. Equally, innovative products and technology will be presented, from the wearable technology, telehealth and robotics and apps sectors, to name a few. “The main strength of MEDICA is that it does not limit itself solely to clinical and practice IT and the fairly rigid framework of the national telematics infrastructure. It shows us digital trends and best practices for connecting from stakeholders in the health industry that have swept across many nations”, emphasized Horst Giesen. Already, it has become apparent that the theme of “Patient Empowerment”, i.e. the management of healthcare data being considered the responsibility of the patient, is becoming more significant this year.


Following the enactment of the E-Health Act, applications for electronic patient files are being planned in Germany, in conjunction with an electronic health card; however, the first solutions developed by health insurance agencies, namely the electronic health records (eGA) for use on smartphones or PC, should be available much earlier in the year. At the same time, leading technology and software groups in the smartphone sector are chomping at the bit. They want to expand the health apps in their operating systems by adding health record applications (for example, the Health Records app in iOS). “At MEDICA 2018, lively discussions will be had on topics, and this should result in an answer to the question of how available the service providers in the health industry will make these types of digital solutions to patients”, continued Horst Giesen. Aspects which are linked to this, such as the new HL7 FHIR - the standard for mobile communication in healthcare, or the economy platform’s attack on healthcare data, will thus be dealt with in the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, for example.


MEDICA START-UP PARK – A platform for creatives


The premier of the MEDICA START-UP PARK met with approval from our professional audience in 2017, and this is why this new platform for the creative start-up scene has been made a firm fixture in MEDICA’s program. Here (in Hall 15), young companies can present their ideas, primarily those for the digital health sector, and meet potential business partners. Magnosco from Berlin will be among the attendees this year. The development team will present an application for early detection of skin cancer which uses a combination of laser technology and artificial intelligence. “As a new participant in the market, we want to get the word out on our unique methods for painless, non-invasive diagnostics. MEDICA offers us an excellent opportunity to meet different target groups within medicine as well as strategic partners and potential investors all under one roof”, said Larissa Middendorf, Marketing & Communications Manager at Magnosco, who is looking forward to MEDICA 2018.


NUVOAIR from Stockholm has also already registered as a participant at the MEDICA START-UP PARK. They want to use their presence to introduce their Air Smart Spirometer. Last year, they laid excellent foundations at MEDICA by participating in the MEDICA App COMPETITION, and coming away with a respectable second place. "Using our hardware and app, users can measure their lung capacity themselves at home. We hope that we will be able to get more business partners excited about our project at MEDICA 2018”, explained Max Ladow, Product Manager at NUVOAIR, delineating their objective.


Blockbuster themes in medical practices


The MEDICA ACADEMY sets its course for blockbuster topics in medical practice once more. Following its premier in 2017, it will be held again this year, as a certified further education event for doctors from various specialities. In addition to practical courses “on devices” (e.g. ultrasound) and updates on general medical diagnostics and therapeutic issues, digital topics are also on the program, in the form of sessions on cyber security in medical practices and best practices for telemedicine.


Other program highlights at MEDICA 2018 include the DiMiMED conference for disaster and military medicine and the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE (respectively on 13 and 14 November 2018 / Congress Center Düsseldorf South) that will be focusing on prevention and sports medical treatment concepts. The conferences will be held in English and are geared towards an international audience.


The 41st German Hospital Conference (12 - 15 November), a leading communication platform for decision makers from hospitals, primarily seeks to address a German specialist audience, as does the MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE. With its treatment-oriented presentations, it is directed towards the professional scene of physiotherapists, sports medicine specialists and orthopaedists and is taking place this year on 14 and 15 November (Congress Center Düsseldorf South).


Other forums that are integrated into the MEDICA trade fair include the MEDICA LABMED FORUM (trends from the medical laboratory sector), the MEDICA ECON FORUM for discussions on healthcare policy and the MEDICA TECH FORUM, for market-relevant topics ranging from technology to science and legal conditions.


The MEDICA trade fair will receive over 5,000 exhibitors from at least 70 countries once again this year, and will include the following focal points, which are clearly structured into categories: Electromedicine / medical technology (approx. 2,500 exhibitors), laboratory technology / diagnostics, physiotherapy / orthopaedic technology, commodities and consumables, information and communication technology, medical furniture and specialist furnishings for hospitals and practices.


COMPAMED 2018 will also take place alongside MEDICA 2018, on all four days (12 to 15 November) in Halls 8a and 8b. With around 800 exhibitors, COMPAMED is the leading international market platform for suppliers of the medical technology industry.


Last year's MEDICA and COMPAMED counted 123,500 trade visitors from 130 countries.


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