Thousands of medical technology firms from more than 65 countries exhibited at Medica 2016 in Dusseldorf, Germany. It was the first time that I attended such a large scale trade fair. The exposure was second to none. The event provided an excellent platform to meet customers/partners/suppliers, network with some of the brightest minds and learn about the latest trends in the industry. Here are some of the key trends I observed at the world’s largest medtech trade fair:
Telemedicine: Telemedicine and Telehealth was a major topic of discussion at the Medica Health IT forum. There are a number of companies, big and small, that are tapping into the demand for telemedicine. Philips Healthcare, for example, showcased their Personal Emergency Response System (predicts falls and whether a fall would require hospitalization for the elderly) that they have successfully launched in the North American market. The company is looking at introducing the product in Europe in the near future. While traditional segments are establishing their foothold in the market, telediabetology is one of the most rapidly growing segments in the telemedicine arena.
Point of care (PoC) devices: Both in the diagnostic imaging and in-vitro diagnostics category, the market is moving towards point of care devices. Mindray Biomedical Electronics had a mobile compact ultrasound device for hemodynamic analysis of blood flow. In the in-vitro diagnostics segment, new PoC devices to detect cancers, specifically lung, breast, cervical and prostate cancers were exhibited. These devices leveraged new cutting edge technology using semiconductor chips as well as immunological and cell-based biotechnological methods.
Wearables: Wearables technology is touted as a game changer in the medtech sector and occupied a special spot in Medica 2016. Several companies (nearly 40) exhibited their products in the wearables category ranging from sports medicine, wearables for monitoring, pain treatment, first aid etc. Roche ( Accu – Check) demonstrated its diabetes management tool that combines a blood glucose monitor, a wearable fitness tracker, and an App that can help a doctor monitor a patient’s blood glucose level remotely. Most of the blood glucose monitors are invasive, few companies demoed non-invasive products. Particularly unique was GlucoTrack, a device that can be clipped to test ones blood glucose levels.
Robotics: Be it application in surgeries, image guided nuero-stimulation procedure, fully automated lab equipment or rehabilitation equipment, robotics has gained immense traction in the recent past. UK based Bee Robotics, MST, Axilum Robotics were some of the companies that demonstrated their innovative products. A lot of demos were done using prototype devices, with regulatory approvals still in the works. But given the rapid technological advancements in AI the future looks very bright for robotics.
Overall it was a fantastic event and meeting with medtech players from across the globe was a superb learning experience. What major trends did you observe at Medica 2016? Do share your experience in the comments section below.