50,600 attend REHACARE

Innovations focusing on rehabilitation and care ensured that the halls were full to bursting at REHACARE 2018 in Düsseldorf, which came to a close on Saturday 29 September after four successful days. 50,600 service users, their carers and relatives as well as international industry experts gained new information on aids that help people with disabilities, care needs and who are elderly, live a life that is as independent as possible from a record-breaking 967 exhibitors from 42 countries. The trade fair thus obtained top results in terms of visitor numbers too.

“Ensuring that people with disabilities, care needs and the elderly are active and independent so that they can manage their day-to-day routines is one of the most important questions of our time. The way that the population demographic has developed, the concomitant issues that it brings with it for care and the growing number of people affected in terms of autonomy and participation in society are driving the market to create and offer increasingly high-performance aids for almost every disability and target group. Digitalisation, which supports the development of accessible products and thus enables inclusion on a wider scale, plays an important role in this,” commented Horst Giesen, Global Portfolio Director for Health and Medical Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf, on the positive outcome experienced by REHACARE 2018.

The exhibitors from home and abroad showed a full quiver of innovations and advanced developments at REHACARE 2018. Many of these were highly personalised solutions from start-ups, with the impetus behind many of the concepts being to make life easier for their own carers.

Dr. Martin Danner, Chairman of the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Selbsthilfe (National Association for Personal Autonomous Development), praised the diversity and quality of the services and products on offer in the trade fair halls. “Anyone who wants to gain an overview of the aids on offer for people with disabilities today won’t go wrong if they come to REHACARE. Everything is on offer here, from aids to help you out in your daily routine to high-tech products. As an independent self-help association, we are delighted to see that the legislators have initiated speedier updating of the catalogue of medical aids that is maintained by the statutory health insurance companies. Service users will be able to benefit more from technical developments in the future than they have previously been able to.” The National Association for Personal Autonomous Development is a state-wide federation of 120 organizations that represents the interests of disabled and chronically ill people and their carers.

Mobility for people with disabilities was a hot topic again at this year’s REHACARE. The devices on offer ranged from intelligent walking aids to complex assistance systems such as computer-controlled braces, eye-controlled wheelchairs and exoskeletons. Almost one in two visitors wanted to gain information on innovations in this sector. This was also true for the devices for daily use sector.

One in three visitors wanted to know about nursing care aids, orthopaedic technology and technical aids for communication and information. Around 25 percent of visitors were on the lookout for the stands in the car show at REHACARE.

The diverse range of information opportunities and consulting sessions in the forums and themed sections were also well-frequented at REHACARE. Here, the main focus was on the REHACARE Forum, which hosted speeches and panel discussions on topics such as housing in old age and the effects that the German Medical Aid and Medical Device Provision Act (HHVG) has on those implicated by it.

Around 400 wound experts, skilled care workers and professionals from specialist sectors in inpatient care, such as palliative care, visited the further education and information program held by the Pflegeakademie Niederrhein, Willich (Nursing Academy of Lower Rhine, Willich) within the context of the Living with Care@Home forum.

Exhibitors awarded top marks to REHACARE 2018. A representative poll showed that over 90% of exhibitors were satisfied with how the event had gone, and 83% said that the fair had already proved to be a business success as well. The survey also shows that 88% are expecting good follow-up business after the fair.

“REHACARE is the most important international event for us in reaching end customers”, said Philipp Hoefer, Head of Sales and Marketing at Otto Bock HealthCare Deutschland GmbH, Duderstadt. “We have seen a significant increase in visitors and are very pleased with our results this year. We cover a broad spectrum with our products and services in the mobility, prosthetics and brace sectors. We placed our main focus on the first electronic leg brace, C Brace, and bandages that had individually programmable electrodes for nerve stimulation.”

Sabine Tonye, Head of Marketing at ReWalk Robotics, finds that one of the prime advantages offered by REHACARE is that it is at once an information platform for service users and international professionals as well. “This year, we showcased the Soft Exosuit for the first time, which is intended to be used in early rehabilitation for stroke patients who have foot drop. We were very pleased with the resonance that our presentation elicited and we were able to reinforce many existing relationships and also win new customers.”

Around 9,000 professional visitors in distribution, importing and purchasing travelled to REHACARE from foreign countries this year. They hailed from over 80 countries and are especially vital to the export-oriented medical aid industry.

The “We for the quarter” (Wir fürs Quartier) conference on the subject of “Digitally Shaping Our Lives in the Community” was held in parallel to REHACARE 2018 on 28 September. 170 social workers, representatives from local authorities, the housing industry and citizens’ organizations made the most of this opportunity to learn about tried-and-tested concepts for neighbourhoods that incorporate digital solutions. The main focus was on telemedicine applications for healthcare, smart home solutions and online platforms that connect people to their neighbours and local service providers in their district.

The first European M-Enabling Forum celebrated a successful premier in Düsseldorf. This forum, which is accompanied by an exhibition, informed visitors on accessible communication technology and digital aids for seniors and people with limitations on 27 September. Regine Gessner, Managing Director Germany for the event organizers of E.J. Krause & Associates, was “very happy” with the first edition of the event. 150 international participants followed the speeches from 30 guest speakers and visited the stands of 18 exhibitors in the foyer of the Düsseldorf Congress Center, CCD Süd. “The exchange between conference visitors, speakers and exhibitors was very active. We have received consistently positive feedback and have already had our first replies confirming attendance to participate in the next M-Enabling Forum at REHACARE 2019,” continued the business leader.

Overall, REHACARE 2018 proved to be a resounding success in the eyes of its visitors: 94 percent of them were happy with the trade fair and what it had to offer.

The next REHACARE will take place in Düsseldorf from 18 to 21 September 2019.