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Statement on MEDICA 2020 + COMPAMED 2020 by Wolfram Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
“Health is our most valuable asset” - the veracity of this statement has recently been proved in the most poignant manner, by the omnipresent Corona pandemic and its effects on almost all areas of our lives. Globally, the pandemic has increased our focus on the healthcare sector above all others. The most challenging demands are being placed on staff and equipment in this sector right now. All reserves are being mobilised and resources are being fast tracked through critical inspections. Hospitals, outpatient clinics, practice-based physicians and care facilities have experienced a sudden increased demand for medical and laboratory technology, a wide variety of medical products, digital health applications and, most of all, personal protective equipment. Under these conditions, the plans for the world’s biggest medical trade fair MEDICA 2020 and the number one trade fair for suppliers of the medical technology industry, COMPAMED 2020, held in parallel, are revving up to full throttle. Both events will take place from 16 to 19 November in Düsseldorf – closely interlinked with extensive digital offers and services.
Despite the planning challenges for both ourselves and our customers, we are still expecting huge participation in MEDICA and COMPAMED. This underscores the urgent need for a strong market platform to steer supply and demand internationally. The stimulus that these events elicit is massively important for the industry. A stage has been created so that the companies can present their latest products and services. Now more than ever, professional visitors from all areas of the healthcare industry need direction and a comprehensive overview of reliable and quickly available supplier options and business partner alternatives.
No other event in the world looks at the complete needs of the outpatient and inpatient care sectors with as much differentiation as ours. MEDICA and its focal segments aren’t afraid to take on this challenge: Medical technology and electromedicine, commodities and consumables, laboratory technology and diagnostics, physiotherapy and orthopaedic technology and Health IT/information and communication technology.
The right formats for matchmaking service providers
Our programme plan has created a space to accommodate the increased demand for an effective matchmaking service from service providers, who specifically want to match with other manufacturers and service providers across different countries, throughout the entire value-added chain and including the supplier sector.
Matchmaking and setting up these service provider cooperations within the remit of development, manufacturing, supplier management, sales and marketing, for example, makes it easier to plan for the future and assure capacity for action, and has rarely been as important as it is in these difficult times.
In particular, we can expect cooperations between start-ups and bigger market players to become even more significant in the future. This applies, for example, for the mobile digital healthcare solutions that are currently steaming along the path to success. Within the course of the Corona pandemic, they will establish themselves as pillars for fast and, to a great extent, contactless care, and may even become indispensable.
The MEDICA START-UP PARK and pitch formats at the neighbouring MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM aim to push the start-up scene into the spotlight. When your creative product ideas for apps and mobile hardware come together with the expertise in permits and approval and the marketing power of experienced service providers, the result is a win-win situation for both parties.
The MEDICA start-up COMPETITION is just one of the widely acclaimed pitch formats. It started life as an app competition and currently offers top innovators a platform to showcase their solutions in diagnostics, artificial intelligence and robotics, in addition to the health app area. Everyone can get excited about the potential new developments, designed to be easy to use for both doctors and patients, that the start ups have come up with this year. The Synphne team won us over last year with a system for mobile stroke rehabilitation. This innovative product consisted of a headset, a sensor glove and an app, and has truly proved its worth many times over in the current Covid-19 situation, due to the urgent need for telemedical treatment and care tools.
Trending themes guided by Covid-19 developments
The program format PPE@MEDICA, a logical outcome of the high demand for these devices that has resulted from the Corona pandemic, is a new addition to the programme this year. This is a cooperative project between MEDICA and A+A, our global leading specialist event for health and safety at work, held in Düsseldorf. Exhibitors show their whole range of personal protective equipment for protecting medical professionals in one dedicated area.
Further forums integrated into the theme segments of the trade fair are the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, the MEDICA TECH FORUM, the MEDICA LABMED FORUM as well as the MEDICA ECON FORUM.
The MEDICA conference programme is oriented towards the interests of important target groups within the healthcare industry and will also reflect the trending themes in the market in terms of its content, taking the impact of the relevant Covid-19 developments into consideration. The 43rd German Hospital Conference, as the leading event for the directors and management teams of German hospitals, and, in addition, two English-speaking conferences which address an international audience should be mentioned here: DiMiMED, the Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine, and the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE for the who’s who of sports medicine and science.
Optimistic suppliers - making the most of opportunities, delivering to meet demand
Within the scope of COMPAMED 2020, suppliers of the medical technology industry are showcasing themselves along with their development and manufacturing expertise. Despite the significant ramifications that Covid-19 has had on the global economy, on the whole they believe that the future is bright. According to a member survey carried out by the IVAM Association for Microtechnology, 90% of the companies believe that there will be opportunities for new applications of their technology in medical technology and the healthcare industry following the pandemic. In addition to miniaturised and mobile systems for fast diagnosis, sensor systems for ventilation devices and medical measurement technology should also receive a mention here, along with various other elements. Equally, miniaturised components and procedures in digitalisation are trending currently. They are the key to ultra-precise manufacturing. Furthermore, they constitute the foundation for light-weight, portable and interconnected devices. In the wake of Corona, these are experiencing even higher demand than before.
Offering perspectives responsibly
The Corona pandemic has also had a significant impact on the event industry. Based on urgent policy recommendations, directives from the authorities and governmental decisions, many trade fair and congress events round the world (including Messe Düsseldorf’s) were postponed in spring.
That hasn’t stopped us from looking to the future with confidence! The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia has stated that trade fairs and congresses shall be permitted again provided that they comply with stringent regulations that will be adapted to the course and events of the pandemic on a continuous basis.
As a trade fair company, we will ensure that the pre-existing high safety and hygiene standards on our Düsseldorf trade fair premises are constantly kept up to date with the current findings. This also applies to the list of further conceptual measures that we are drafting in close cooperation with the authorities, associations and partners: from hall layout planning that is adapted to the situation, precautionary measures for optimal control of numbers of people, for example in the entrance areas, to extension of our digital services for effective and contactless pre-preparation of and following up on your participation in the trade fair.
It is true that trade fairs and congresses will be ran differently in the era of the Corona virus, and the numbers of visitors and exhibitors will also change compared to what we’ve all been used to. In any case, a glance at other economic sectors and parts of life shows what can be achieved when we stick together, keep calm and act responsibly. A visit to the hairdresser, shopping in a supermarket, taking a cab or going to the gym are also all done differently now. However, adapting our behaviour and the ways that we do these things is working well, as these many examples show.
The many small and middle-sized companies in the medical technology industry in particular need an optimal outlook for their employees and their business, and they’re not alone in this. These companies have an active need to exchange with potential business partners and target groups from all areas of medical application, not least to assure their production and supply chains. With MEDICA and COMPAMED, we offer you the opportunity to do just this, even under the most demanding framework conditions.
We will keep a safe distance while sticking together, now, in November 2020 in Düsseldorf and beyond.