Industry News: MEDICA and COMPAMED defy financial crisis

24 Nov 2008

With 137,000 registered visitors, just under 40% from abroad, the four days of MEDICA (including three days of COMPAMED), the MEDICA Congress and the German Hospital Congress closed on par with the previous year’s event.

The 4,313 exhibitors showed a complete cross section of new products, services and processes for use in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. In addition to those areas traditionally generating strong interest, such as medical device technology and electrical medicine, physiotherapeutic processes and medical IT, in particular, also showed increasing demand.

Wilhelm Niedergöker, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, said, “despite the worldwide financial crisis both shows have again confirmed their leading roles. 2008 was the year with the highest number of events ever in the history of Messe Düsseldorf and it has now drawn to a satisfactory close”.

Almost 90% of the visitors were involved in relevant investment decisions, at least in a consultative capacity, while 70% were decision-makers or at least had co-decision-making rights. In line with these findings, exhibitors reported that the audience displayed a high propensity to invest overall.

During a credit crunch investments are questioned with an especially critical eye. The audience for MEDICA and COMPAMED took a particular interest in efficient processes for streamlining treatment processes. A good example was the telemedical applications for radiology or pathology. They allow image data for diagnosis to be transmitted fast and conveniently to experts at distant locations in clinical networks.

In addition to the improved networking of health care stakeholders brought about by relevant hardware and software applications, there is an increasing trend shown towards compact medical devices that are also suitable for mobile deployment. For example the world’s smallest heart-lung machine, able to fit into doctor-manned ambulances or helicopters.

The MEDICA Congress 2008 provided a wide spectrum of continuous medical education and training in the form of training courses, seminars and discussion forums. The teaching modules on cardiovascular medicine as well as on other common conditions such as diabetes and dementia were well received by participants. High in demand were the courses offering hands-on training with new medical equipment, ultrasonic devices or microscopes. The seminars on palliative medicine, which were newly incorporated into the programme, also proved popular.

“Quality has its price!” was the overriding theme of the lectures, forums and seminars organised for the 31st German Hospital Congress. Almost 1,800 participants from hospitals and the field of health care policy obtained information on hospital-relevant issues here against the backdrop of the structural change currently occurring within the German health care system.

COMPAMED 2008 – suppliers showcased high-tech at its best

In parallel with MEDICA, 519 exhibitors (2007: 450) also presented high-tech at its best in COMPAMED. The suppliers for medical manufacturing presented a wide range of products and systems, such as new materials, components, packaging solutions and complex processes in the field of micro technology.

There is a growing trend among suppliers to no longer just supply individual components but instead assume the role of a subcontractor for complete medical devices and products. In materials there is a trend towards focusing even more on plastics in medical device engineering. Today nearly 50% of all medical products manufactured worldwide are made of plastics – and the figures are rising. Often these plastic components must be joined with other components made of metal or ceramics. The relevant processes, including the latest laser-based joining technologies, were shown.

A theme of the talks delivered at the special forum covered all aspects of product development. 15,000 visitors from the total of 137,000 visited COMPAMED.

The dates for the next MEDICA in Düsseldorf are 18th – 21st November 2009 (COMPAMED until 20th November 2009). For further information and continuing updates, please visit the company websites.