The Medica trade fair in Düsseldorf is the meeting place for the international healthcare industry. The exhibitors go there to show their new medical products for doctors' practices and hospitals from the fields of medical engineering, electromedicine, laboratory equipment, physiotherapy products, orthopaedic technology and health IT. Information technology is becoming ever more present in the health sector, for example in computer-assisted microscopy, surgery and anaesthetics, as well as wireless monitoring of patient health using computer chips.
Furthermore, there are rapid developments in what are known as biomarker tests, which measure such biological features as cells, genes, enzymes or hormones to obtain information on possible diseases. They are used to diagnose almost everything from viral infections to cancer, and the number of discovered biomarkers is growing, so that the analytical devices in laboratory medicine are having to process more and more data.
Another trend in medical engineering is miniaturization. This makes it possible, for example, to integrate sensors into ‘smart’ prostheses that can detect problems and report, say, a loose-fitting implant. Another area where the components can’t be small or light enough is in millimetre-scale camera modules for micro-invasive surgery, where the surgeons leave minimal scars.
Although three quarters of all exhibitors in Düsseldorf in 2013 come from abroad, German-made medical and hospital supplies are also well represented at the Medica fair. The German exhibitors are taking up over 42,700 square metres in the exhibition halls to present their products. They are followed by the firms from Italy with 10,450 square metres, China with 7,800 square metres, and the United States with 6,150 square metres.
Medica, 20-23 November 2013 in Düsseldorf