MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM takes a look at the new digital reality and revolutionary technologies
As one of the world’s leading medical trade fairs, MEDICA in Düsseldorf presents innovations every year for the entire healthcare workflow, for clinical and outpatients. Among the over 4,200 companies at MEDICA 2022 (duration: 14 – 17 November) there will again be several hundred start-ups. This event, which is one of the most international trade fairs (more than 70 percent of all visitors hail from abroad, and about 150 nations overall are represented), is a gateway to the world for them, through which they can make contacts across all continents.
Take as an example the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (in Hall 12), a special platform for young entrepreneurs. The most important issues of the four-day-programme for the year 2022 are: Connected medical things, AI & big data, robotics, the health metaverse, the future of hospitals and care centres, health monitoring and diagnostics, mobile health, digital therapeutics, mental health, and more. About a hundred chosen start-ups and scale-ups present themselves on the forum stage during the MEDICA DISRUPT Sessions. The finale of the 11th MEDICA Start-Up COMPETITION and the “14th Healthcare Innovation World Cup” are highlights of the programme.
The 11th MEDICA Start-Up COMPETITION is on the lookout for innovative healthcare industry solutions, from health apps and new tools for gathering and AI-supported analysis of health data, to robotic assistance systems and new approaches in diagnostics. Until mid-September, hundreds of innovators had already registered their participation in the finale of the competition during MEDICA 2022. The 12 best finalists, chosen by a professional jury, will now pitch on 15 November at 1 p.m. to win the grand prize.
A day before, on 14 November at 1 p.m., the finale for the “14th Healthcare Innovation World Cup” will start. There, another 12 chosen finalists will pitch to win with their solutions for the “Internet of Medical Things” (IoMT). The span of developments reaches from interconnected medical technological devices, wearable technologies, digital biomarkers and intelligent plasters up to smart implants.
What the metaverse will bring
In addition, the metaverse is going to be one of the important topics at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. The new buzzword hints at a novel digital reality that focusses on technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the possibilities of processing big data in real time by artificial intelligence, and digital twins. This could lead to revolutionary changes in health care, both for monitoring health and treatments. This trend provides the focus for the content of a symposium, starting on Wednesday, 16 November, at 12 p.m. There, Eva Garcia Ramos, CEO and co-founder of WIVI Vision, will speak. The start-up concentrates mostly on children and adolescents. The products (for example with the capacity for 3D visualisation) aim to improve health care with a view to evaluating and treating problems with visual function.
About 30 percent of all children in Europe are affected by some form of disturbance of their visual function, but only a minority receives adequate evaluation and treatment, says the young company. 95 to 100 percent of these cases could therefore be evaluated and undergo an improvement through the use of special products and services.
VR & AR on a helpful mission in treating severe illness
Khora, too, will be present on stage at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. The Danish start-up has worked with the Rigshospitalet to create, for example, an augmented reality universe aimed at children and adolescents from ages ten to fourteen, who have to spend considerable time in hospital with cancer or leukaemia. It is supposed to make daily life easier for them. Khora created “Snail Battle”, which allows persons affected to use plants to fight against evil monster snails. During the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM, CEO Simon Lajboschitz will also explain, how virtual reality can help patients with schizophrenia affected by auditory hallucinations. The metaverse can offer opportunities in many other areas, ranging from applications for attention deficit disorder over the development and testing of medical devices on virtual patients to simulation scenarios. These will be the focus of talks on Wednesday, 16 November.
The state of digitalisation in the near future in Germany also depends on government policies. Dr. Susanne Ozegowski, head of the department of “Digitalisation and Innovation” at the Federal Ministry for Health, will speak about her ministry’s strategy for digitalisation. The possibilities of digital applications for health (DiGA) and for care (DiPA) offer enough inspiration for talks on Wednesday, 16 November, starting at 3 p.m.
A variety of topics at the MEDICA START-UP PARK
Thericon and KuartisMED are among the companies participating in the MEDICA START-UP PARK. The shared booth (also located in Hall 12) has established itself over the years as a central meeting point for business and networking with the young founders’ scene, and this year counts around 40 participants. German start-up Thereon see themselves as the first company to bring imaging compiled from several different sources into the operating theatre as a visual aid. Visual representations of hitherto invisible tissue properties are presented together with standard coloured images on a single monitor. This diagnostic information and their intuitive display aims to make faster and more precise surgical results possible. The company’s MEDICA START-UP PARK presentation explains how it works in detail. Meanwhile, Turkish company KuartisMED concentrates on innovative solutions for the wellbeing of newborns. As children born before the 34th week of gestation lack sufficient coordination of the sucking and swallowing reflexes, they depend on feeding tubes for nutrition. The non-invasive medical device by KuartisMED aims to help with evaluating the maturity of these reflexes in the future.
The aforementioned examples show that, if you are interested in innovations in the health sector, a visit to MEDICA 2022, and especially the novelties presented by the various start-ups, is a must.
The trade fair halls are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All of the details on the MEDICA 2022 are available online at https://www.medica-tradefair.com.