Joachim Schaefer

Finding High-Tech Solutions in MedTech

By Joachim Schäfer
Joachim Schaefer

This year’s COMPAMED trade fair will serve as a catalyst for more industry partnerships.

These days, suppliers and medical technology providers closely collaborate to drive the development of new systems and processes. During this process, the development competence of suppliers is often the starting point for innovative technologies that are paving the way to more efficient and effective healthcare. 

COMPAMED and Innovation

Since its debut more than two decades ago, COMPAMED has taken place in Düsseldorf, Germany, running concurrently with MEDICA, the world’s largest medical trade fair. Part of the success of COMPMED can be attributed to the close integration of suppliers’ development processes and their customers. The exhibition, which takes place in November, has been a long-standing international communication platform for suppliers of the medical technology industry. Last year we welcomed more than 700 exhibitors from 37 nations to COMPAMED and about 4800 exhibitors to MEDICA.

Throughout the years, the quality of the range of products has continuously improved at the same rate as the changes we’ve seen in the medtech market. Where, at one time, primarily simple parts, components and equipment for technical devices and medical products have been presented, today, COMPAMED is a hot spot for complex high-tech solutions.  

This year, a significant change is occurring regarding the running time of COMPAMED and MEDICA, which promises to introduce even more opportunities that establish a higher level of interaction for businesses and collaborative partnerships. For the first time, both trade fairs will be held on the same days (November 16 – 19, 2015) and during weekdays only. We hope this accommodation will give the exhibitors of COMPAMED even more time with their customers.

Medtech Trends

The medtech market is quite dynamic: Innovation cycles are much shorter than in other industries. German medical technology manufacturers make about one-third of their sales with products that haven’t even been on the market for more than three years.

Microsystem technology solutions for mobile diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy systems are particularly hot right now, especially in the field of optical processes. This includes microcomponents for minimally invasive diagnostics and optical components for laboratory equipment. Sample examinations traditionally conducted by pathologists under a microscope can now be performed with the push of a button.   

More compact, efficient, and user friendly are among the latest device trends as well. The increasing use of mobile diagnostic systems and point-of-care testing can be attributed to a few factors. Experts anticipate that the lack of doctors will significantly increase in rural areas. By 2021, a 42% decline in the number of general practitioners is expected. Therefore, the distance to the nearest medical practice will continually increase for patients. This presents an enormous opportunity for modern diagnostic processes that generate results in just a few minutes (versus several days). The time of uncertainty for patients is reduced and it saves them an additional (and potentially long) trip to their doctor. This is especially beneficial in emerging countries, where the distance to the next doctor or laboratory is usually very far.

Suppliers are not only coming up with clever ideas regarding compact lab applications that can immediately analyze at the point treatment. They are also driving technological development in the booming field of wearables, or diagnostic tools that are used in close contact with the body. Examples include optical micro-sensors; and first in-ear sensors, which can measure vital signs such as your pulse or even the blood’s oxygen content in a non-invasive manner, and then transfer this information to a recording instrument. The sensors are designed to fit into earpieces and are designed to be just as comfortable as ear headphones.   

The product range at COMPAMED includes several key categories: Components for medical technology (such as electronics, components, hoses, filters, pumps, and valves), materials/ substances, micro and nanotechnology, made-to-order manufacturing, electronic manufacturing services (EMS), complex manufacturing and equipment partnerships (e.g. OEM), and packaging and services.

Together, COMPAMED and MEDICA 2015 will cover the entire medical technology supply chain, from individual components to measuring techniques and quality testing to sterile, packed end-products. Last year, the trade fairs welcomed a total of 130,000 specialist visitors (17,000 of whom were particularly interested in the topics covered by COMPAMED). This year two forums will cover medical technology supplier trends, and the COMPAMED High-Tech Forum, organized by the IVAM association for microtechnology, will focus on microsystem technology, nanotechnologies, production technology and process control. The COMPAMED Suppliers Forum will feature leading international companies and organizations that will discuss  current developments along the entire process chain. Other topics include mechanical and electronic components, materials and made-to-order production. Keynote speeches on new markets and regulatory issues will round off the program.

Only one ticket is necessary to visit both MEDICA and COMPAMED

November 16 – 19, 2015: MEDICA and COMPAMED
Opening times: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm daily

Location: Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, Germany