From November 13 – 16, the 5,372 exhibitors at MEDICA 2023 and the 735 companies at COMPAMED 2023 provided 83,000 healthcare professionals (81,000 in 2022) proof of their expertise in the realization of modern healthcare in medical practices and clinics – from the supply of high-tech components to high-performance consumer products.
U.S. exhibitor participation at both trade fairs was again strong: 381 exhibitors showcased their product at MEDICA 2023, with 157 participating in the two U.S. Pavilions, organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America. At COMPAMED 2023, 83 U.S. companies displayed their innovations, with 20 exhibitors participating in the U.S. Pavilion also organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America.
Whether at the trade fair, conferences or specialist forums, this year's focus was particularly on the digital transformation of the healthcare system in the context of the increasing "outpatientization" of care and networking between clinics. Other trends included solutions based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and supporting systems such as robotic systems or solutions for implementing more sustainable processes. The innovations presented by exhibitors included an AI-controlled wearable to improve sleep quality (by stimulating the brain through precise neurofeedback signals), an energy-saving yet effective cryotherapy procedure as well as robotic systems for diagnostics, therapy and rehabilitation – from robot-aided ultrasound examinations and cardiovascular surgery without physical contact of the instruments when navigating through blood vessels to upper body mobilization of bedridden patients.
The “hot topic” of artificial intelligence was discussed in numerous sessions and from a variety of different perspectives in the conferences and panel talks that accompanied the trade fair. World renowned AI experts such as Bart de Witte, Prof. Paul Lukowicz and Prof. Dr Aldo Faisal provided the necessary scientific background. They addressed both very specific issues, such as the extent to which 'ChatGPT' can be of medical benefit (for example by “translating” complicated phrases in letters written by physicians into generally understandable language) as well as more fundamental aspects. Bart de Witte, as a specialist for digital transformation in healthcare, addressed the “big picture” in his keynote speech at the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM. He currently sees a very critical point in the use of AI in the healthcare sector and calls for the "democratization" of medical AI.
The MEDICA stage program had many other highlights to offer. These included the finals of the 12th MEDICA START-UP COMPETITION (on November 14). The annual competition for outstanding digital innovations was won this year in the final pitch by the start-up Me Med from Israel with an immunoassay platform for performing highly sensitive, fast, multiplex protein assessments. A developer team from Germany took first place at the finals of the 15th.
During COMPAMED 2023, 735 exhibiting companies from 39 countries presented a wide range of innovations, demonstrating their expertise in key technologies and their use in medical technology, medical devices and medical technology manufacturing. The spectrum of topics in the five experience worlds ranged from micro components (e.g. sensors) and microfluidics (e.g. technologies for managing liquids in the smallest spaces, for use in test applications in laboratory medicine) to materials (e.g., ceramics, glass, plastics, composite materials) and sophisticated packaging solutions for cleanrooms.
Two specialist forums integrated into COMPAMED provided an in-depth insight into current technology trends and the research and development of the exhibited processes and new products. In addition, practical information was provided on relevant foreign medical technology markets and regulatory requirements with regard to market approval.
The next concurrent staging of MEDICA and COMPAMED will be held from November 11 – 14, 2024 in Düsseldorf, Germany.