Health sector in Germany overtakes automotive industry – digitisation penetrates all supply sectors
The number of people in Germany who work in the health sector has increased to more than seven million for the first time during the period from 2016. The health industry’s industrial segment alone now provides jobs for a good 900,000 people and therefore 100,000 more than the automotive industry. Just like the automotive industry, however, the healthcare sector is also experiencing rapid change. MEDICA, the world’s leading medical trade fair – taking place in Düsseldorf from 13 to 16 November 2017 – will be embracing this dynamic with the presentation of new products by more than 5,000 exhibitors from 68 countries and the devotion of the content of the accompanying conferences and expert forums to transformation in all its forms.
Digitalisation has fed into all aspects of supply and buzzwords such as ‘networking’, ‘big data’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ are dominating the technical discussions and are already influencing product development in concrete ways. 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 medically 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.
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, for instance. 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.
‘Artificial intelligence is going to change the field of medicine forever’
At a press event in advance of MEDICA 2017, Prof Dr. Jochen Werner, Medical Director at the University Clinic of Essen, revealed that he is convinced that AI is going to revolutionise the health sector: “Artificial intelligence is going to change the field of medicine forever. It is going to optimise and accelerate diagnostics and help to make treatments more personal. The work of physicians is going to change fundamentally.” Prof. Werner emphasised that AI was not an end in itself. It would always have to be used to the benefit of patients and help physicians concentrate on their core tasks.
Medical applications based on ‘virtual reality’ (VR) and ‘augmented reality’ (AR) were also advancing. One of the product highlights at MEDICA 2017, for instance, is going to be the ‘3D-ARILE’ AR system for surgery that projects the precise location of lymph nodes on data goggles worn during surgical interventions and so provides valuable assistance within the framework of tumour operations. A piece of physiotherapy equipment that patients recline on while wearing a pair of VR goggles on to which a flight through a mountain landscape is projected as the unit makes the corresponding treatment-relevant movements is also going to be premièred at MEDICA.
The new and the tried-and-tested – conferences and forums
With the aim of meeting the needs of the international professional public both now and in the future, the programme for the accompanying conferences and the forums integrated into the trade fair have, over recent years, been radically restructured and have always been complemented by new formats dedicated to topical subjects.
Creative start-ups are, for instance, playing an important role in the digitisation of healthcare and specifically in the field of wearables for vital diagnostics. A special ‘platform’ will be dedicated to them for the first time at MEDICA 2017 with the new MEDICA START-UP PARK in Hall 15. “The company founders and their small teams of developers are simply bubbling with ideas. What they need is a boost. That is why we will be matching them up at MEDICA with potential business partners, investors and sales partners from around the world,” says Dr Claudio Bucchi, the MEDICA team’s trend scout and the project manager responsible for the MEDICA START-UP PARK.
The MEDICA LABMED FORUM in Hall 18 will also be new this year. 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.
Première for the MEDICA ACADEMY
One highlight of the conference programme – the MEDICA ACADEMY – will be celebrating its launch at this year’s MEDICA. It will be dedicated to ‘blockbuster’ topics relevant to medical practice. These will include, for example, updates on imaging procedures, modern surgical 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.
The MEDICA ACADEMY will be complemented by other highlights from the MEDICA conference programme that will span the arc between their content and the new products that are going to be presented at the trade fair. For example, the 40th German Hospital Conference as a leading event for the management of German hospitals deserves mention 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. This year, the Hospital Conference is again going 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 English-language 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 MEDICA PHYSIO CONFERENCE has also proved very popular with visitors and has therefore been a firm fixture in the conference programme for a while now. 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 15 and 16 November (Congress Center Düsseldorf South).
Globally unique – varied presentations
Be it the new or tried-and-tested in the programme, a central strength of MEDICA is and continues to be that it does not just deal with solutions for individual medical specialist disciplines but that it offers solutions for the complete workflow of patient treatment in one place at one time. Focuses of the MEDICA trade fair include: Electromedicine / medical technology (approx. 2,500 exhibitors), laboratory technology / diagnostics, physiotherapy / orthopaedic technology, commodities and consumables, information and communications technology, medical furniture and specialist furnishings for hospitals and practices.
COMPAMED 2017 will be taking place in Halls 8a and 8b alongside the MEDICA 2017 trade fair on all four days. With more than 750 exhibitors, it is the driving force and internationally leading market platform for suppliers to the medical technology industry.
Last year’s MEDICA in conjunction with the COMPAMED trade fair for suppliers, which is held at the same time, counted 127,800 trade visitors from 135 countries.
Dates for MEDICA 2017 + COMPAMED 2017 in Düsseldorf: 13 – 16 November (10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.)
Information is available online at:
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Press and Public Relations MEDICA 2017
Martin-Ulf Koch / Larissa Browa
Tel. +49(0)211-4560-444/ -549
Fax: +49(0)211 4560-8548
E-mail: [email protected]
Düsseldorf, October 2017