Medica 2008: Beating the crunch
Düsseldorf, Germany, 19–22 November, 2009
Medica is the world’s largest annual trade fair for healthcare technologies. Defying the financial crisis, Medica 2008 attracted 137,000 trade visitors and over 4300 exhibitors: a level of attendance on a par with the previous year. The event included ComPaMED 2008, a trade fair for suppliers to medical manufacturing.
Medica offers a major platform for healthcare technology companies to showcase their innovations. Exhibitors presented a complete spectrum of new products, services and processes for use in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. In addition to areas of persistent high interest, such as medical device technology, there was increased demand for physiotherapeutic processes and medical IT.
Medica is one of the sector’s leading events for decision-makers, with almost 90% of this year’s trade visitors involved in relevant investment decisions (at least in a consultative capacity). Many exhibitors reported that the audience displayed a high propensity to invest.Economy drive
“During a credit crunch investments are questioned with an especially critical eye,” said Wilhelm Niedergöker, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf. “The trade audience at Medica and Compamed took a particular interest in efficient processes for streamlining treatment.” Notable examples include telemedicine applications for radiology and pathology, which allow image data for diagnosis to be transmitted fast and conveniently to experts at distant locations via clinical networks.
In addition to the improved networking of healthcare professionals brought about by hardware and software applications, there is an increasing trend towards compact medical devices that are suitable for mobile deployment. For example, the world’s smallest heart-lung machine (which fits doctor-manned ambulances and helicopters) was showcased at Medica 2008.High-tech at ComPaMED
In parallel with Medica, 519 exhibitors presented the best of component technology at ComPaMED. Upstream suppliers for medical manufacturing presented an impressive array of new materials, components, packaging solutions and microtechnology processes. The exhibition drew the interest of 15,000 trade visitors.
ComPaMED 2008 reflected the growing trend among suppliers not just to supply individual components, but to assume the role of a subcontractor for complete medical devices and products. It also reflected the increasing use of plastics in medical devices, and the use of laserbased and other new technologies to join plastic components with components made of metal or ceramics.ABHI at Medica 2008
ABHI, an official UKTI-accredited trade association, co-ordinates the UK Pavilion at Medica. This year it took around 100 companies there – a record for ABHI, demonstrating the continued strength of the medtech sector in the UK.
Medica is a crucial event for British firms looking to maintain or build a strong export presence. Despite the current economic climate, many ABHI exhibitors commented that the number and quality of contacts made at the show were as good as in previous years. The leads taken at the ABHI stand are now being advertised through its website and International Newswire.
ABHI at Medica welcomed Minister for Trade Gareth Thomas, who spent over an hour at the British Pavilion. This visit gave ABHI exhibitors an opportunity to discuss the issues currently facing the medical technology sector, such as the need for continuing Government assistance for British firms looking to export, the availability of soft loans to British firms for specific overseas projects, and the importance of innovation by SMEs in the UK healthcare sector.Northwest passage
The world’s first manually retractable hypodermic needle, launched by Sheffieldbased InterVene Ltd, and a range of highly adherent surgical sealant films unveiled by Tissuemed Ltd were among the innovations on display from Yorkshire companies at Medica 2008.
Medilink Yorkshire and Humber (Y&H) – a professional association supporting the growth of the healthcare technology sector in the region – ran the UKTI-sponsored Yorkshire and Humber pavilion (part of the UK pavilion), helping companies to showcase their products and source new partnerships.
Charlotte Fraser, International Manager at Medilink Y&H and regional specialist for UKTI, said: “We have been attending Medica on behalf of Yorkshire and Humber for nine years now. Being the eyes and ears of the healthcare technology sector, we work closely with UKTI to offer companies support in accessing global markets and help support the growth of healthcare technologies across the region.”
Other UK regions were represented by companies such as Cheshire-based Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS), who displayed their range of wound care and wound closure products; and Telfordbased Hydro Physio, who showcased their new range of accessories for the Lifestyle hydro treadmill.
Medical Futures Innovation Awards 2008
London, 2 December 2008www.medicalfutures.co.uk
The healthcare technologies of the future were recognised at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards 2008, a showcase of UK innovations that could transform patient care. Awards were presented for a range of novel products and services including an injectable bone graft, a dental imaging technique without X-rays and a hand-held device to test hearing.
The Awards ceremony took place at the Honorary Artillery Company grounds in central London, with an audience of 800 business leaders, medical and scientific experts and policy makers. It was hosted by TV presenter Melanie Sykes and comedian David Mitchell, and (being also a charity fundraiser) was attended by celebrities including broadcasters Andrew Marr, Jonathan Ross and Anthea Turner.Rewarding innovation
The Medical Futures Innovation Awards aim to help innovators bridge the gap between medical invention and market access. By entering the Awards process, clinicians and researchers gain the opportunity to pitch their ideas Dragon’s Den-style to a panel of experts who offer guidance and validation.
The judging panels are composed of over 80 medical, scientific and business experts, including Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS; leading scientist Baroness Susan Greenfield, Director of the Royal Institution; and business leader Sir Richard Sykes. The judges select winners based on three main criteria: novelty, impact on patient care and viability (whether clinical, technical or commercial).
As well as publicity and critical endorsement, winners gain a bespoke package of support to turn their ideas into viable propositions for investors. This may include assistance in securing funding and introductions to professional and commercial contacts. Past winners have gained over £80m of funding, and many now provide successful products or services.Technologies for tomorrow
The overall winners for 2008, selected from a thousand entries, included:
Cancer Innovation Awards 2008 – Dr. Nick Miller-Jones and Lawrence Fenelon, UroSens Ltd, Cambridge.
Device to diagnose bladder cancer:
a point of care test that detects the presence of a protein marker in a urine sample, removing the need for cytoscopy.Cardiovascular Innovation Awards 2008 – Michael Schneider, Dorian Haskard and Ranil de Silva, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.
Cell therapy to improve cardiac repair:
a new technique for grafting heart stem cells into injured cardiac muscle.Ophthalmology Innovation Awards 2008 – Robert Johnston, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Medical Director Medisoft Ltd and David Johnston, CEO Medisoft Ltd. MediSoft:
an electronic patient record system for eye departments, overcoming the difficulties of paper-based notes.Dentistry and Oral Health & NHS Technology Innovation Awards 2008 – Dr Christopher Longbottom, Prof John Girkin, Prof Nigel Pitts and Dr Simon Poland, Dundee University and Strathclyde University. Infrared dental imaging:
a device that enables dentists to produce images of teeth, bones and gums using infrared light.ENT & Audiology Innovation Awards 2008 – Mr Jonathan Scotchbrook, Martin Simpson, Gary Norman, Sensaurial Ltd, Oxford.
Hand-held hearing test:
a device to make the diagnosis of hearing loss quicker, easier and more sensitive.
Orthopaedic Innovation Awards 2008 – Professor Kevin Shakesheff, University of Nottingham, Michael Leek, Cheryl Hunter and Helen Cox, Regentec Ltd, Nottingham.
a synthetic, biodegradable synthetic liquid bone graft that hardens after injection.Homegrown talent
Mr. Andy Goldberg, MD FRCS (TR&Orth), founder of Medical Futures, commented: “The brightest and best of British medical and scientific talent have astounded us with their award-winning innovations that are so full of promise and have the capacity to transform patients’ lives.
“I hope that the winners will also win recognition from the business and investment community to support their translation into commercially viable products, services and businesses,” he said. “We want to ensure that UK healthcare innovations and their wealth creation capability stay in this country for the benefit of UK patients and those around the world.”