The annual MEDICA and COMPAMED 2021 conference was held last week in Düsseldorf, attracting world leaders in the healthcare, medical device and medical technology industry. From 15th to 18th November 2021, 6,000 visitors from 150 countries gathered to engage with over 3,000 MEDICA and over 490 COMPAMED exhibitors, presenting on both the development and manufacture of innovative technologies for patient health and care.
Despite continued restrictions in international transport, MEDICA’s hybrid in-person event gave the opportunity for global exhibitors to fully participate in the conference this year. This provided an interactive and collaborative platform for visitors to discuss innovative medical products and industry trends in medical technology, interlinking both the European and international markets. One challenge to bridging these markets that was highlighted at this year’s conference was the introduction of the new EU Medical Device Regulation (2017/745), which came into effect on 26th May 2021. This was a major update to the regulatory framework in the EU, and although a potential challenge for global companies to obtain, EU regulatory approval provides entry into the globally established and rapidly accelerating EU market.
The onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was also a large influence on new technology exhibited at this year’s MEDICA and COMPAMED conference. The development of new therapeutic approaches on how sport can aid patient recovery from long COVID was discussed in detail at this year’s conference, presented by leading academics and clinicians in the field. This included sessions on the long-term cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 in athletes by Dr Aaron Baggish from Harvard Medical School, and the value of cardiac magnetic resonance (CRM) imaging in athletes from Dr Christopher Schneeweis of the Heart MRI Rhineland Cardiovascular Imaging Practice in Cologne, Germany.
The rise of digital innovations in healthcare also played a prominent role at MEDICA 2021, with the introduction of novel technology targeting both inpatient and personal health emerging as novel approaches to healthcare. This included digital innovations from LED patches to promote tissue regeneration, rehabilitation solutions for athletes and smartwatch-based apps for runners. There were also several 3D printing technologies presented, including an exhibition by French company Bone 3D SAS, which develop cutting-edge technology using 3D printing applications and biometric models for surgeons and healthcare providers.
The variety of technologies presented at the conference this year pays tribute to the drive and innovation that is emerging from the European market. MEDICA and COMPAMED are due to be scheduled next year in November 2022 in Düsseldorf, with a continuing aim to showcase emerging and novel solutions in medical technology.