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 industrial side of the healthcare sector alone now employs a good 900,000 people and consequently more than 100,000 more people than the automotive industry does (according to BMWi / GGR, VDA). Just like the automotive industry, however, the healthcare sector is also experiencing rapid change. MEDICA, the world’s leading medical trade fair – to take place from 13 to 16 November 2017 in Düsseldorf – will be embracing this dynamic with the presentation of new products by more than 5,000 exhibitors from 68 countries and by devoting the accompanying conferences and expert conferences to it.

Digitalisation has fed into all aspects of supply and buzzwords such as ‘networking’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ are characterising the technical discussions and already influencing product development concretely. Expert professionals will be able to gain insights into all the developments – be it during the presentations and talks at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM, during the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, with the help of the exhibitors’ new products and even through 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. 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. Standardised interfaces are to be implemented to enable the data to be exchanged between IT systems in doctors’ practices and clinics.

The project will certainly constitute a topic for controversial discussion at the MEDICA ECON FORUM (platform for political dialogue on health issues / Hall 15), which is being organised at MEDICA 2017 by the Techniker Krankenkasse. The opportunities and consequences resulting from the digitalisation of the health sector will constitute a major focus here.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another topic that the healthcare sector is becoming increasingly preoccupied with. It will consequently also be on the agenda at this year’s MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM (Hall 15). 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. This example shows: What previously seemed pure science fiction is currently on the threshold of becoming reality in concrete and plausible applications. This is also the case in the field of medical imaging. The first applications to use artificial intelligence for the automated detection of possible tumours on the basis of digitally generated image data from CRT or MRT systems are about to be launched on the market.

The new and the tried-and-tested – conferences and forums

With the aim of meeting the needs of the international professional public even into the future, the programme 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 highlights also being presented in English and rounded off by ever-new formats that focus on topical subjects.

The dynamic that characterises 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 founders 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 be presenting themselves and their ideas to an audience of experts on a total area of 500 square metres in direct proximity to these events.

The MEDICA LABMED FORUM is also new this year. Under the key heading of “The Interdisciplinary Fascination”, laboratory medicine, molecular pathology, microbiology, medical technology and life sciences will be presenting themselves as drivers of innovation and generating new impulses for the entire medical sector. Four themed days will be offering a range of exciting presentations and panel discussions that will be 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 taking place between 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. and are free for trade fair visitors with MEDICA tickets. The cooperation partner for the content for the MEDICA LABMED FORUM in Hall 18 is the medical publisher Trillium.

The exhibition centre is ‘smartening’ itself up – new South Entrance, new Hall 1

Hall 18 is a modern structure that has been built with lightweight materials and that is 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. These exhibitors will also be able to use another temporary hall built from lightweight materials, i.e. Hall 3a, which neighbours Halls 3 and 4.  Background information: The South Entrance to the Messe Düsseldorf trade fair centre 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.

Première for the MEDICA ACADEMY

One highlight at the conference programme – the MEDICA ACADEMY – will be celebrating its launch at this year’s MEDICA. It will be the venue for two workshops that are going to be devoted to ‘blockbuster’ subjects related to medical practice and that are going to be held on each of the four days of the fair. These will include, for example, ‘updates’ about imaging procedures, modern surgery procedures and even an ultrasound ‘refresher’ course. The MEDICA ACADEMY will also be discussing 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, additional items on the MEDICA’s conference programme will bridge the gap to the new products being presented at the trade fair through presentations with relevance to highly topical subjects and by focusing on the interests of the MEDICA’s important target groups. For example, the 40th German Hospital Conference as a leading event for the management of German hospitals deserves to be mentioned here. The bandwidth in this regard ranges from political health questions through 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 gathering that allows top decision-makers from European hospitals to swap notes.

Other highlights will include the DiMiMED conference for disaster and military medicine and the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE (respectively on 14 and 15 November 2017 / 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.

Its great reception from participants has meant that the MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE, which was launched in 2014 and organised by the Thieme publishing house, has established itself firmly within the conference programme. With its treatment oriented presentations, it is directed toward the professional scene of physiotherapists, sports medicine specialists and orthopaedists and is taking place this year on 15 + 16 November (Congress Center Düsseldorf South).

Globally unique – varied presentations

Now, and in the future, a central strength of the MEDICA continues to be that it does not just deal with solutions for one individual medical specialist discipline, but that it offers solutions for the complete workflow of patient treatment in one place at one time. No other event worldwide comes even close to this wealth of innovations.

Being clearly structured by halls, the MEDICA trade fair will be focusing on the following subjects: 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 – the No. 1 for suppliers

COMPAMED 2017 will be taking place in Halls 8a and 8b alongside the MEDICA trade fair on all four days (13 to 16 November). 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 characterises 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. This is where exhibitors will be presenting the technology solutions and services they provide to meet the wide variety of requirement profiles and remits that medical equipment suppliers must satisfy – from microtechnology and nanotechnology solutions, new materials and coatings, components, preliminary products, packaging and services up to comprehensive contract manufacturing.

Last year, there were 127,800 trade visitors from 135 countries at MEDICA and the supplier trade fair COMPAMED, which was held simultaneously.

Opening hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm / 13 – 16 November 2017