This year, the world's largest and leading medical trade fair, MEDICA, and the number one international event for the medical technology manufacturing supplier market, COMPAMED, will take place as virtual events due to the pandemic. This digital format will continue to strengthen their roles as global leaders. Since registration opened in mid-September, more than 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries have already registered for virtual.MEDICA 2020 and virtual.COMPAMED 2020, with 150 exhibitors registering exclusively for virtual.COMPAMED.
"This emphasises the trust the industry places in their leading events as well as the urgent need for platforms where companies can connect with customers and potential business partners. We have created a stage that is accessible across countries and allows companies to present their latest products and services. And this also provides guidance for top decision-makers in the healthcare industry in these challenging times, by offering a comprehensive overview of reliable delivery options and alternative suppliers," says Wolfram Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, looking forward to virtual.MEDICA and virtual.COMPAMED with confidence.
International online visitors from all areas of healthcare can expect an extensive programme, which consists of three key areas: the Conference Area (conference and forum programme), the Exhibition Space (exhibitor and product innovations) and the Networking Plaza (networking/matchmaking).
Conferences and trends in times of CoronaIn the Conference Area, a four-hour stream will be run in German and a six-hour stream in English on all event days. The preliminary agenda is now available online and can be accessed via the event data base. It comprises 215 programme events and 268 top speakers, including German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (16 November, 3 p.m.) and virologist Prof. Hendrik Streeck (18 November, approx. 12:10 p.m.).
"In particular, the programme offers participants a range of highly relevant topics that are related to Corona. We have also integrated programme streams for the military medicine conference DiMiMED, the MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE and the 43rd German Hospital Conference into the Conference Area, and these will, of course, also be held as fully virtual events. We have also included exhibitor web sessions, virtual conferences and events, in which they present their innovations and latest developments," says Horst Giesen, Global Portfolio Director Health & Medical Technologies, offering an outlook on the events.
Highlights in the Exhibition SpaceIn the Exhibition Space, the joint data base for virtual.MEDICA and virtual.COMPAMED is also now online and provides access to the virtual showrooms of the individual companies. One of these is KUKA. This specialist for robotics and automation plans to use its participation in virtual.MEDICA to select the winner of the KUKA Innovation Award 2020 from among the five finalists. Under the motto Medical Robotic Challenge, the event will take place on 18 November from 12:40 p.m. at the KUKA virtual showroom. The research and developer teams all received lightweight robot LBR Med prior to the challenge; they then integrated this robotic component into their own concept of a medical product development. The CONEEBot team from the Hamburg University of Technology is among the finalists and aims to develop smart needles (e.g. for biopsies) to application maturity. When connected to the robotic arm, needle applications of this kind will support doctors in placing needles correctly - regardless of soft tissue distortion, which can make guiding the needle difficult.
Meanwhile, CompuGroup Medical (CGM), one of the global leaders in the eHealth sector, will focus on "tangible" solutions for everyday medical life. "For understandable reasons, we unfortunately cannot meet visitors and offer advice at our MEDICA trade fair stand in person this year. CGM would nevertheless like to offer customers and interested parties the opportunity to find out more about current as well as new products. virtual.MEDICA is a suitable and welcome alternative in this respect," explains Arne Westphal, Senior Vice President Physician Information Systems DACH at CGM Germany. The company's virtual presence focuses on networking and the telematics infrastructure (TI). "The current pandemic has proved how useful digital solutions can be in the healthcare sector. CLICKDOC, our virtual surgery solution, allows doctors to consult patients who are in quarantine as well as potentially infected patients on their further treatment, for example, without putting themselves or their teams in the practice at risk of infection," says Arne Westphal.
The Networking Plaza - New options for an old classicIn the third key area of virtual.MEDICA and virtual.COMPAMED, targeted networking takes centre stage: the Networking Plaza is all about maintaining customer contacts, acquiring new customers and generating leads.
All of this is done via our Matchmaking tool, a veritable classic within the MEDICA and COMPAMED programme that has been used successfully in the past three years. Registered users create personal profiles (including interests and product areas as well as concrete questions on products) as a basis that is then used to match and connect exhibitor contacts and online visitors. In the course of this, and aided by artificial intelligence software, every Matchmaking participant receives suggestions on suitable contact persons. If both parties are interested, they can get in touch via the chat function, for example. Matchmaking has been open since 21 October and can be accessed even after the events have ended, closing on 21 May 2021. New this year: the video meeting function will be enabled on virtual event days (16-19 November) - giving Matchmaking meetings in digital space a particularly personal touch.