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All things Pharma

Medica 2009

Düsseldorf, Germany, 18-21 November 2009 

Medical imaging, home healthcare and device connectivity were among the key themes of MEDICA 2009. The 40th anniversary of the world’s largest medical trade fair drew a record 138,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries to view and discuss the innovative technologies on display. More than 16,000 visited ComPaMED, the three-day show dedicated to supplies for medical manufacturing.

45% of the visitors came from outside Germany – especially from the Asian and Arab countries that offer growth markets for medtech. 4,324 exhibitors from around 60 nations offered a clearly segmented line-up of new products, systems and services for the entire patient pathway, from the home to the hospital.

Wilhelm Niedergöker, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, said: “The short innovation cycle in this industry is a crucial success factor of the world’s number one event for the sector – MEDICA. The most exciting innovations are presented here year after year.”

New developments in diagnostic imaging, home healthcare and telemedicine drew much attention, reflecting the growing focus on efficiency, patient safety and preventative treatment. They included a new generation of ultrasound devices designed for the diagnosis of nerve diseases, and new heart monitoring systems that are incorporated in clothing.

The MEDICA Congress included an international continuous medical education module in English for the first time. Integral diagnostics, cancer treatments, patient monitoring in intensive care and cardiac surgery were focal themes.

ComPaMED 2009 ran in parallel with MEDICA from 18-20 November. 518 exhibitors from 35 nations demonstrated supplies for medical manufacturing, ranging from components and individual assemblies to nanotechnology applications and solutions for custom manufacturing. A key theme of the ComPaMED forum was high-technology components for processing medical products.

MEDICA 2009 at Messe Düsseldorf

Get yourself connected

New solutions for connectivity between medical devices and systems played a major part in this year’s MEDICA trade fair. Two examples were:

• GE Healthcare is driving an interpretation of e-health in terms of health information systems that connect healthcare providers across a region. The UK-based company presented its new e-health solution to enable digital networks: the Centricity Imaging Portal. This web-based portal can retrieve historical patient data from different hospital systems such as HIS, RIS and PACS, enabling radiologists to diagnose and report independent of location, time and institution.

In order to promote the exchange of clinical expertise worldwide, GE Healthcare is delivering global solutions enabled by its German e-health technology partner ICW. The key project is an application helping to centrally manage and distribute medical documents, enabling experts from different institutions to gain access to patient data.

GE Healthcare also promoted its new digital imaging solutions for mammography and cardiology, aimed to meet the challenges of modern healthcare environments. The Centricity RIS/PACS system provides advanced clinical tools and 3-D technology in order to help clinicians evaluate huge sets of data.

“Our Centricity RIS/PACS is web-based and offers an extremely fast streaming technology, which enables the system to run in region-wide and multi-hospital environments even under low bandwidth conditions,” said Jürgen Reyinger, Vice President and General Manager at GE Healthcare IT for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This supports cost-effective image exchange projects throughout several care providers and vendors. At the same time, fast access to vital patient information is leading to more timely and safe diagnoses for patients.”

• Welch Allyn, a global manufacturer of frontline medical devices and solutions, showcased its new suite of core diagnostics products that feature next-generation electronic connectivity. The company offered an interactive booth experience, with touch-screen kiosks and Mobile Clinical Assistant tablets, adding a high-tech dimension to the demonstrations.

Julie Shimer, Welch Allyn’s President and CEO, said the company’s new showcase was a response to the growing demand for device connectivity within healthcare delivery. “We are designing products that offer greater efficiency and more connectivity options to help shape the future of healthcare delivery beyond traditional approaches to connect, manage, and share patient information.”

The company showcased its new Green Series Medical Exam Lights, some of the first medical exam lights in the world to feature energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The range of four light systems are designed for use in a variety of healthcare settings: GP consultations, specialist examinations, outpatient checks and hospital-based procedures.

Welch Allyn also previewed a new, lightweight electrocardiograph (ECG) that is connectivity-ready and offers the speed and power of a fully-featured ECG in a compact, portable size. It can administer patient tests at the touch of a button, and can interface with Welch Allyn’s CardioPerfect Workstation Software to connect to an electronic patient record or health information system.

    
Biosign stand at MEDICA 2009

Saving lives with technology

A range of innovative products that stop bleeding in serious wounds was showcased at MEDICA by Crewe-based UK company MedTrade.

Celox controls moderate to severe bleeding from arterial or high-flow sites within seconds of application by attracting red blood cells to its surface and forming a strong gel plug that seals the wound. Since its introduction to the US market in 2006, Celox has been proven to rapidly and reliably stop major bleeding.

Craig Hardy, CEO of MedTrade, said before the event: “One of my greatest pleasures is hearing of the times when Celox have saved lives. It is now fantastic to be able to display the Celox range at MEDICA. We are hoping it will offer us the perfect opportunity to meet with international distributors and showcase our products to people from around the world.”

    
The Yorkshire Pavilion at MEDICA 2009

The Yorkshire Pavilion

An example of a regional medtech trade initiative at MEDICA 2009 was the Yorkshire Pavilion, co-sponsored by industry specialists Medilink Yorkshire & Humber and regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

The Pavilion featured 10 companies: Biosign, Brenmoor, METRC, Paxman Coolers, Platts and Nisbett, Surgical Innovations, Tissuemed, Trio Healthcare, Tomorrow Options and Zilico.

“Healthcare innovation is one of the region’s rapidly emerging industries and these companies, through their innovation, have earned the chance to fly the flag for Yorkshire and Humber across the world,” said Jim Farmery, Assistant Director for Business at Yorkshire Forward. “Their success should act as a catalyst for further investment in the region and encourage the progress of other businesses in the sector.”

Paul Brennan of Brenmoor, which designs and manufactures printed wristbands to prevent patient identification errors, said: “MEDICA was incredible for us. We met a number of potential new partners from around the world who we are hoping to do business with over the coming year. MEDICA gave us great exposure and as a result we can take our product to new global markets next year.”

Some of the innovative Yorkshire products on display included:

• Zilico’s hand-held device for accurate detection of cervical cancer, which removes several weeks of waiting for a diagnosis.

• The scalp cooler from Paxman Coolers, which gives cancer patients a better chance of retaining their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

• Biosign’s new range of silver-coated anti-microbial signs, which kill 99.99% of bacteria including MRSA.

• Platts & Nisbett’s specialist bespoke surgical instrument service, based on an in-house manufacturing capability.

• The LogiFlex, a flexible laparoscopic device from Surgical Innovations that has been described as an ‘innovative cost-effective solution’ by surgeons.

    
Lord Darzi visits the British Pavilion at ComPaMED

The components of success

Another regional medtech initiative was the British Pavilion at ComPaMED 2009, where nine UK component manufacturers secured an estimated £1 million of export sales. Run by industry specialists Medilink West Midlands and backed by UKTI and Advantage West Midlands, the British Pavilion included product and brochure display support for 20 companies.

Tony Davis, CEO of MedilinkWM, said: “Attended by an international audience of OEMs, this is a very targeted show, which is why it has proved so profitable and has led to such significant sales leads. At a time when many manufacturers have been hit hard by the weakness of the UK economy, £1million of sales is well worth travelling to Germany for!

“Normally this type of show would be out of the reach for UK SMEs, or at the very least would require significant investment. This kind of sales success just proves how valuable it can be to invest in marketing to overseas audiences, and I hope other manufacturers can see the return they could hope for by taking advantage of a shared, sponsored stand.”

The British Pavilion was visited by NHS innovation champion Lord Darzi, who spoke with each of the represented companies and invited them to his after-show reception. The UK’s Commercial Officers, representatives of British industry overseas, also visited the stand to talk with the exhibitors.

“No other show delivers this quality of leads from around the world, and it’s incredibly valuable for an SME to be able to reach so many influential people in one place,” said Caroline Herdman, Medical Division Manager of silicone supplier Primasil Silicones. “ComPaMED is a unique chance for Primasil Silicones to be seen on an international platform and to meet with the UK’s Commercial Officers. They have been able to provide essential market information that we can use to drive export sales.”

Precision component manufacturer Interplex showcased its range of complex metal parts and assemblies. Bruce Christie, Managing Director of Interplex, observed: “ComPaMED has exceeded our expectations, smashing our anticipated sales targets for the event.”

David Nichols, Director of the Translation People, preferred supplier of medical document translation services to Optima Health and several NHS Trusts, said: “As an SME, the format of the British Pavilion made it possible for us to maintain a consistent, professional presence at the show. Our staff were able to attend appointments and give visitors to the stand extra attention, using MedilinkWM’s highly professional staff to represent us on our pod.

“We had some really useful meetings with UK officials, which I know will develop into strong commercial opportunities. ComPaMED really is the world’s meeting place for medical devices and technologies.”

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