The UK Representative of Messe Düsseldorf

COMPAMED 2018: Medical technology suppliers offer smart technologies = great leaps in medical care


For some time now, two essential trends have been dominating the field of medical technology and are ensuring short innovation cycles: dematerialization and digitalization. Accordingly, products are increasingly becoming more compact whilst their performance remains the same or is improved, they are increasingly easy to use and as a whole, innovations are driven by software and less by hardware. Intelligent prosthetics capture their surroundings using sensors and by doing so their function is tailored more ideally to the patient. Plasters are able to monitor the wound healing process or act as an early warning system and signal increased risk of an imminent asthma attack. Bracelets functioning as a “mini-hospital on the upper arm” have started appearing on the market. They are able to determine various body parameters such as heart rate, oxygen in the blood, stress levels or sleep rhythms. Even measuring blood pressure durably beat by beat no longer requires an inflatable cuff, as modern optical biosensors are now able to take care of this.


Innovations like these require close cooperation between medical technological manufacturers and their suppliers during development. Often, suppliers are the ones that give the decisive impulses for development leaps, and once again, visitors can see this for themselves at COMPAMED in Düsseldorf from November 12 to 15, 2018. With 800 exhibitors from almost 40 countries, COMPAMED is the international leading specialist trade fair for the supplier market for the medical technology industry and takes place alongside the world’s leading medical trade fair MEDICA (5,000 exhibitors). The scope of products, solutions and services presented and addressed at COMPAMED ranges from parts and components such as sensors, chips, wireless modules, energy and data storage to coating technology, packaging solutions and even complete made-to-order production. The list of exciting innovations is a long one, as numerous examples illustrate.


Blue light helps heal chronic wounds


Chronic wounds are notoriously difficult to treat, as they do not follow a typical healing process or healing time frame. The resulting strain is considerable, as over 40 million people are affected every year, causing costs of around 40 million Euros, which must be carried by the health care systems. Blue light is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect during the healing process’s initial phase and in addition does not damage tissue, in contrast to dangerous UV light. However, there was no evidence of the positive effect of blue light exposure in the later stages of wound healing, which has previously complicated the development of effective solutions for a complete therapy.


Together with six other partners, CSEM has contributed to closing this gap with the EU project MEDILIGHT. This cooperation has proven that exposure to blue light has far more than just an antibacterial effect. The antiproliferative effect has now been clearly proven and shows that blue light prevents the epidermis on the wound surface from closing prematurely in the early healing phase. In addition, the consortium of European research laboratories has proven for the first time that, with a further suitable dose, blue light can efficiently activate vital skin cells, namely keratinocytes and fibroblasts, thus accelerating the final wound healing process. The developed prototype is the ideal solution for an intelligent, mobile system for treating chronic wounds with blue light, for example diabetic ulcers. In addition, the project created the prerequisites for a future commercialisation of devices based on light therapy and to monitor wound healing.


“By discovering and demonstrating the effectiveness of blue light both for antibacterial application as well as for activating vital skin cells, MEDILIGHT allowed us to apply for two patents,” explains Marielle Bouschbacher, project manager at URGO, the participating industry partner and project leader. “MEDILIGHT is also paving the way for further important possible applications such as disinfecting medical instruments and operating environments.”


3D printing rapidly grows in medical technology


3D printing remains a hot topic at COMPAMED. Often termed Additive Manufacturing, the process is growing faster in medical technology than in any other field of application. According to a forecast by the market research company “Markets and Markets”, global 3D printing for medical products is expected to increase from 840 million US dollars in 2017 to around 1.9 billion dollars by 2022, a yearly growth rate of 17.5 percent. Key factors for this rapid development are technological progress, an increase in private investments in this sector as well as the increasing application possibilities for the health industry. The growing market is divided into the large segments components, equipment, materials as well as software and services, with the last segment showing the largest growth. Here, the increasing development of progressive software solutions for manufacturing top quality, 3D-printed medical products is the main driving force.


The widely acclaimed seminar “3D fab+print” that took place last year on this topic will be followed up with an all-day conference on this topic held at this year’s COMPAMED 2018 on November 12 (3D fab+print Conference on Additive Manufacturing for medical applications). Among the presenting companies is Evonik, who have been systematically working on improved materials for orthopaedic surgery in their project house Medical Devices since 2014. “We are developing new solutions that help prevent operations or accelerate the healing process,” explains project house manager Balaji Prabhu. In the meantime, Evonik has established first materials on the market, among them a composite that consists of the polylactic acid RESOMER and a synthetic hydroxylapatite filler. Hydroxylapatite is the most common biomineral in the human body. This combination results in mechanical characteristics that are very similar to those of natural bones. RESOMER is completely degraded into carbon dioxide and water in the body, does not cause inflammatory reactions and is completely non-toxic.


RFID chips that can even be sterilised


The entire spectrum of sensors is still a big subject for many providers. The product market “Hightech for Medical Devices”, hosted by the IVAM Association for Microtechnology with 45 international participants, offers a particularly large selection. FEIG ELECTRONIC, for example, presents RFID reader solutions for the healthcare industry to identify medical devices and accessories that depict the consumption of medication and reagents, thus improving patient care and safety. RFID allows the implementation of accurate tracking solutions for medical devices as well as for individual processes within medical treatment. This relieves hospitals of numerous administrative and inspection tasks and enables them to use the resources that have been freed for even more intensive patient care. RFID-based inventory systems monitor the current stock of various materials used in hospitals and laboratories: Medication and reagents, blood and plasma bags, surgical instruments, textiles and many more. Additionally, RFID systems ensure accurate patient identification, monitor the respective treatment status and enable warning systems to improve the entire process chain. “RFID registers all relevant information in real time, without employees having to enter data into a computer by hand. This frees up more time for medical and patient care,” confirms Ellie Lee, Manager OR Information Management Services at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. FEIG develops and manufactures the entire range of RFID components, not just for medical technological devices, but for optimising hospital processes as well.


As can also be seen at microsensys, RFID technology offers a variety of possible application fields and each solution is subject to their own material and technology requirements. Especially for medical and pharmaceutical applications, there are a large number of guidelines that must be complied with. At COMPAMED, microsensys shows state-of-the-art RFID medical technology solutions and will debut their RFID sensor data logger for seamlessly monitoring temperature during steam sterilisation in autoclaves at +134°C and 3 bar. The company has had the patented mic3 technology since the mid 1990s. This technology realised the world’s smallest RFID transponder with an integrated coil on the chip with a size of approx. 1.5 cubic millimetres. With storage capacities of 64 bit read only to 64 Kbit read/write and temperature resistance of minus 45°C to plus 200°C, the mic3 transponders have sufficient storage capacities and high reliability.


Tailor-made nano coatings


Micro and nano technologies are an important part of COMPAMED. The Dutch company Surfix BV develops and supplies innovative tailor-made nano coatings for the micro and nanotechnology market, based on chemical surface modifications. “Our proprietary surface modification technology can even realize local and selective surface modifications, which allow complex geometries such as microfludics, lab-on-a-chip devices and biosensors made of different materials,” explains Dr. Luc Scheres, CEO at Surfix. The coating specialists have extensive expertise in the field of organic, physical and biochemical surface research, which enables them to build a “chemical bridge” between biology and physics. Surfix is involved in the BIOCDx programme, which was started in January 2017 and is financed by the European Union as part of their research and innovation programme. In this project, partners from four different countries work on developing a miniaturised, highly sensitive and reliable Point of Care device (PoC) with a disposable microfluid cassette to monitor cancer biomarkers. The device supports the recognition of primary tumours and metastases with a focus on breast cancer, hormone-resistant prostrate cancer and melanomas. As part of the BIOCDx project, Surfix will supply the nano coatings necessary to immobilise the various biomarkers on the surface.


High-ranking participants at the DeviceMed and IVAM forums


In addition to COMPAMED’s exhibition area, two established forums will present the trends in the supplier field of medical technology: In Hall 8b, the COMPAMED SUPPLIERS FORUM (held by the specialist magazine DeviceMed) focuses on the entire medical technology process chain. Among these are mechanical and electronic components as well as innovative materials and all sorts of made-to-order production. This year, particular focal points are Additive Manufacturing (November 12), Cyber Security (November 13), Regulatory Affairs (November 14) and Wearables (November 15). The COMPAMED HIGH-TECH FORUM (Hall 8a) presented by the IVAM Association for Microtechnology places key focus on microsystem technology, nanotechnologies and production technology and process control.


COMPAMED 2018 takes place in Halls 8a and 8b at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre. It is aimed primarily at technical buyers, specialists in research and development as well as packaging, production managers, construction engineers as well as process engineers.


For more information about the forum, please visit:


For more MEDICA 2018 forum held in parallel, please visit:


Dates for COMPAMED 2018 + MEDICA 2018: November 12 to 15


Opening times: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm


Author reference: Klaus Jopp, freelance technical writer for science and technology (Hamburg)


Upon publication, a reference copy would be appreciated.


Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Press and Public Relations COMPAMED + MEDICA

Martin-Ulf Koch / Larissa Browa

Tel. +49(0)211-4560-444/ -549

FAX +49(0)211-4560-8548

E-mail: [email protected]


Düsseldorf,  September 2018

MEDICA 2018 presents the future of medicine – completely digital, yet with a human touch

How smart use of data is revolutionising the healthcare industry


Artificial intelligence, Big Data or IoT (Internet of Things) –  we would be hard pressed to find a sector that doesn’t have these terms and the corresponding application options at the top of its agenda. Health economy is no exception, as will once again be apparent at MEDICA in Düsseldorf in November. With over 5,000 exhibitors from 70 countries, MEDICA is the world’s leading medical fair trade and will run from 12 to 15 November 2018.    “Digital transformation is the key topic and we will be looking at it from various angles in our accompanying conferences as well as in the integrated forums, which are tailored to target groups,” explains Horst Giesen, Global Portfolio Director Health & Medical Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, with an eye on the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM and the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (including the MEDICA App COMPETITION). These forums alone drew more than 8,000 visitors to Hall 15 at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre in the previous year.


The discussions, presentations and speeches in these forums will focus 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 technologies, telehealth and robotics and apps sectors, to name a few.


At the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, big data and artificial intelligence are part of the programme from day one – quite literally, on Monday 12 November between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Here, the focus lies on artificial intelligence at smart hospitals, from deep learning to process automation, but also in extended patient files.


Interested visitors can also get the whole scoop on artificial intelligence, IoT and Big Data on Tuesday 13 November from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM.


Here, IBM Watson Health will illustrate the progress in precision medicine using oncology as an example. Mateij Adam, IBM Watson Health, will explain how artificial intelligence supports this.


When man and machine become one


CorTec Neuro specialises in the interface between man and machine. “CorTec Brain Interchange ONE” connects the nervous system and artificial intelligence. This system can be completely implanted to record and stimulate on 32 channels and enables interaction with the nervous system in open and closed loop applications. This means it can primarily be used to battle neurological diseases and their symptoms, such as epilepsy and paralytic diseases. On Tuesday 13 November, Dr. Fabian Kohler from CorTec will explain the implanted brain-computer interface for researching closed loop therapy at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM.


Neurostimulation and robotics will then be on the forum’s agenda on Wednesday November 14 from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Here, our speaker is Prof. Arndt Schilling from the clinic for trauma surgery, orthopaedics and plastic surgery at the University Medical Center Göttingen.  With a smooth transition he will lead us to robotics. For him, a typical example of intelligent prosthetics are the “mind-controlled” prosthetics. They pick up nerve signals, derive actions from them such as “open prosthetic hand” and carry them out. The biggest challenge here is to reliably interpret the patient’s intentions. Schilling explains, “Thoughts will always be free and are therefore extremely hard to trap in algorithms. And it is also sometimes difficult for developers to understand the patient’s complex, changed everyday situation, especially because the developers generally do not have prosthetics themselves.” To be able to adapt intelligent controls to the patient’s needs, extremely close cooperation in an inter-professional team of patients, doctors and engineers is therefore necessary.


Prosthetics learn how to live with the patient, not the other way around


Machine learning can help in developing such prosthetics and orthotics.  Until now, conventional controls meant that patients had to train for a long time before they learned how to carry out movements in a way the prosthetics could understand, says Schilling. He explains, “Machine learning enables patients to carry out movements in ways that make the most sense to them, and the prosthetics train themselves to understand the patient.” Machine learning reverses the teacher-pupil-relationship between patient and prosthetic, so to speak. “This gives patients the pleasant feeling of the prosthetics serving them and not the other way round,” says Schilling.


Combining machine learning with extended sensors could also give prosthetics a basic understanding of their surroundings. Schilling explains, “In our InoPro project we are working on prosthetics that can recognise whether the patient is reaching for a glass or a pencil, for example, and prepares the hand’s position and grip accordingly, which in turn relieves the patient.”


Today, first prosthetics have been equipped with relatively limited intelligence that allows them to adapt mechanics to the respective gait phase or regulate the speed at which an object is reached for. “The first start-ups are looking into this subject and I expect similarly quick progress to that of voice control in the past years,” says Schilling.


The fundamental technical difficulty is due to the fact that the natural human motor system is so amazingly well-engineered. “Trying to develop something that is even remotely like a hand or a foot is automatically high tech.” Intelligent prosthetics not only have to be smart, they also have to be robust, light and waterproof. Ideally, they should also require very little power, so that they do not have to be recharged all the time. The sensors need to work reliably, no matter whether the wearer is moving, freezing cold, or sweating. This requires biocompatibility of the used materials and the surface of the body.


Ethical border case: Does everyone have a right to high tech?


Currently, Schilling primarily sees an ethical border in the discussion on who should be given access to these modern aids, and who shouldn’t, as high tech is of course very expensive. “Does everyone have the right to be provided with state-of-the-art prosthetics, should the need arise? Which standard will supportive society accept? How much do we want to invest in further development? How can we ensure that people outside of our supportive society benefit from these developments?” Schilling believes the answers to these ethical societal questions will fundamentally determine future developments in this field.


Exoskeletons, for example, are already a reality and part of the field of wearables. The EksoGT robot exoskeleton is the first commercial robot exoskeleton to be approved for use by the American Food and Drug Administration FDA in cases of hemiplegia caused by strokes and for injuries to the spine at the height of T4 to L5 and C7 to T3.


On Wednesday 14 November, the Fraunhofer IGD will vividly demonstrate how augmented reality is moving into operating theatres at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. Apart from that, the forum’s daily MEDICA DISRUPT sessions are dedicated to fascinating product innovations. Here, over fifty start-ups will present medical solutions, daily from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. On Wednesday 14 November, MEDICA DISRUPT will start at noon, as a particular highlight will take place from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. The finalists in this year’s MEDICA App COMPETITION will take the stage to present their solutions and the winner of the “World’s Best Health App” will be announced.


All information on the English-language MECIDA CONNECTED HEALTH CARE FORUM, its twelve sessions as well as the exhibition area can be viewed online at:


All information on the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM program, which will beheld in German and English, can be viewed online at:


Further information about MEDICA 2018 is available online at:


Author: Dr Lutz Retzlaff, freelance medical journalist (Neuss)


Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Press + Public Relations Team MEDICA 2018

Martin Koch/ Larissa Browa

Tel. +49(0)211-4560-444 -549

E-mail: [email protected]


Düsseldorf, 27 August 2018


MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM: The top trends & innovations for interconnected & mobile aid


From plasters to measuring blood pressure – smart is key


Can prosthetics be intelligent? Yes, they can. “Intelligent prosthetics are prosthetics that perceive their surroundings via sensors. Based on these perceptions, they then adapt their functions appropriately to meet the patients needs,” explains Prof. Arndt Schilling. He is the head of research and development at the clinic for trauma surgery, orthopaedics and plastic surgery at the University Medical Center Göttingen and president of the German Academy for Osteology and Rheumatology Sciences and is one of the more than hundred international speakers at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. With over 5,000 exhibitors, MEDICA is the world’s leading medical trade fair in Düsseldorf (from 12 to 15 November 2018). The forum is an established part of MEDICA’s program and focuses on the latest findings, technologies and solutions to ensure interconnected and mobile healthcare. Top trends and innovative products are the topic of lectures and are presented in the exhibition area of the Forum in Hall 15.


On Monday 12 November and Tuesday 13 November, the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM will focus on personalised medicine for the treatment of chronic diseases and health monitoring to match, among other topics.  ResMed, for example, offers solutions for sleep apnoea as well as non-invasive ventilators for home use (mechanical ventilation). Thanks to sleep onset detection, these devices deliver a low pressure until the user falls asleep and then increase the pressure to the prescribed value. At the same time, integrated radio technology sends the therapy data to the carer. Users can change the device’s settings, check that the device is working properly and solve problems. This helps ensure the therapy’s quality. In particular, Andreas Grimm from ResMed will focus on how innovative CPAP can improve the mobility of patients with sleep apnoea.


Mild electrical impulses counter depression


Korean company Ybrain uses neurostimulation to treat depression. Applied transcranial direct-current stimulation is recognized by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), for example. For this purpose, Ybrain has developed the “Mindd” headband. The device emits mild electrical impulses to the frontal lobe of the brain. This shocks the frontal lobe out of its depressive inactivity, so to speak. Depression is associated with inactivity in this region of the brain. The system is connected to a smart phone app which allows users to evaluate the intensity of their depression on a scale. This allows doctors to monitor the treatment’s progress. On Monday 12 November, Kiwon Lee, Managing Director of Ybrain, will present the meaning of these devices for non-invasive brain and nerve stimulation.


Measuring blood pressure without cuffs


Extensive monitoring makes sense in many areas, such as in healthcare, sport, when treating diseases as well as in rehabilitation. ViCardio states that it is the only wearable blood pressure monitor that can be worn over a long period of time. An optical biosensor measures the blood pressure. Even measuring blood pressure beat by beat does not require the usual inflatable cuff.  ViCardio co-founder Dr. Sandeep Shah will portray the future of blood pressure monitoring. This will also take place at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM on the morning of Monday 12 November.


Meanwhile, Biovotion offers a “mini-hospital on the upper arm”. This measures diverse parameters such as heart rate, oxygen in the blood, stress levels or sleep rhythms and analyses them on a platform. The values are recorded via the Everion armband – all day, every day. Anika Uhde from Biovotion will explain how this works.


One solution for spiroergometry (lung function) and metabolic analyses: Dynostics, a smart analyses device with an accompanying app, offers just that and can assist in shaping medical training therapies or giving nutrition recommendations based on metabolic values that have been determined professionally. Manfred Günther from Dynostics will explain the significance of performance and metabolic diagnostics.


Medical technology moves to smart plasters and bandages


Intelligent patch solutions are currently conquering numerous medical application fields. Health Care Originals offer an advanced patch to support asthma patients. This wearable technology records symptoms such as coughing, breathing patterns, heart beat and others. It is an early warning system for asthmatic attacks. If values deviate from the norm, the wearer receives this information at an early stage and can therefore prevent the attack or lessen its intensity. There is also an option to notify someone if requested. It also records the use of the inhaler.


On Tuesday 13 November, everything at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM will revolve around smart patches – meaning plasters and bandages – in healthcare as a whole. They can be used in rehabilitation in endoprosthetics, like TracPatch. This allows patients’ progress to be tracked after the operation, for example when they do the necessary exercises at home. In this case, the smart patches record the joint’s agility and deflection angle, for example. Measuring body temperature can give an indication on inflammations, making this an ideal device to use for training purposes or in mobilisation therapy after an operation.


At Karl Otto Braun, the plaster itself is smart and changes colour according to body temperature, which is helpful when there are inflammations underneath the plaster. Dr. Eng. Marcin Meyer (Karl Otto Braun) illustrates the role of smart textiles in wireless health monitoring at the MEDICA CONNECTECT HEALTHCARE FORUM.


CyMedica’s forum presentation will underpin the fact that bandages are also becoming smart. They offer a post-op knee support that stimulates the muscle wirelessly and can be used after an operation. The support is controlled via an app and tracks therapy progress.


In contrast, the solutions and devices by Kinvent monitor muscle power. A muscle dynamometer and a handhold to measure hand strength can give doctors, physiotherapists and rehabilitation centres an indication on whether patients are carrying out their exercises at home correctly and how to evaluate the therapy progress.


However, wearing plasters constantly can strain the skin. For this reason, the company Covestro broaches this subject at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. With the right choice of materials and manufacturing technology, they develop plasters that on the one hand adhere securely to the body and on the other hand are skin-friendly and equipped with fully functional sensors.


All information on the English-language MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTH FORUM, its twelve sessions and the exhibition area can be viewed online at:


Current information about MEDICA 2018 is available online at:


Author: Dr Lutz Retzlaff, freelance medical journalist (Neuss)


Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Press and Public Relations Team MEDICA 2018

Martin Koch/ Larissa Browa

Tel. +49(0)211-4560-444 -549

E-mail: [email protected]


Düsseldorf, 27 August 2018


REHACARE Düsseldorf 2018 starts 26 September – record participation

Largest event in trade fair history / 960 exhibitors from 40 countries present aids and knowledge for independent living / Central theme: Digitalisation as an opportunity for inclusion