MEDICA 2015: Digital Medicine, Personalization and Miniaturization

On November 16–19, Düsseldorf hosted the world’s largest event for the healthcare industry: MEDICA 2015. The trade fair and conference traditionally held at the end of the year allowed medical device manufacturers, software and information systems development companies, and other experts to summarize the results of the outgoing year, have a look at new solutions, and discuss the future industry development trends. The key topics of MEDICA2015 included telemedicine, visualization, lab diagnostics, sports therapy, and physiotherapy as well as medical education.

As always, in parallel to the main event, MEDICA’s visitors could also explore the COMPAMED trade fair where over 800 exhibitors presented high-tech solutions for medicine. These included prototypes for surgical nanorobots, miniature cameras for endoscopic tests, disruptive solutions for cardiac function (for example, the first ever mobile 22-channel ECG system)and blood glucose monitoring, and devices to measure stress levels and analyze sleep activities.

Wearable technologies once again attracted a great deal of attention. This time, exhibitors presented smart glasses, fitness trackers, intelligent hearing devices, and a totally new trend: intelligent patches that continually collect patients’ physical data and, if required, administer medication in a practically non-invasive manner.

Most visitors noticed that the device miniaturization trend has strengthened its position on the market and is now implemented in not only wearables but also traditional medical equipment, such as portable visualization devices that can easily fit into doctors’ pockets.

One of the main trends at MEDICA that will probably largely define the further development of the healthcare industry in the near future is the personalization of medical devices and services. A growing number of suppliers and developers are putting patients’ comfort first and creating user-friendly monitoring and diagnostics solutions. This trend started gathering pace a couple years ago, and today, it is a mega-market with over 55,000 health apps.

An interesting solution in the area of personalization presented at MEDICA 2015 was Avatar Kids, a telepresence system that allows young long-term care patients to stay in touch with their friends and even participate in school and class activities with the help of a small robot that acts as their digital representative.

Auriga has been developing software for medical equipment for over 12 years. Whenever there is a new trend, we feel it. A few years ago, 100% of our medical projects involved embedded software development for medical devices (patient monitors, respiratory medical devices, infusion pumps). Nowadays, more clients turn to us to develop mobile solutions, health information systems (HIS), and electronic management records (EMR) systems—all examples of global healthcare digitalization in action.

Events like MEDICA and COMPAMED are great for networking, but they also allow us to receive relevant industry information straight from the source: trendsetters, gurus, and key players of the healthcare market. The opportunity to quickly recognize new trends, adjust in-house training courses, feel at home with the technologies and standards of tomorrow—this is what our experts bring back from these expo shows.

Marс Schlackman, Auriga’s sales director, commented on the event:

MEDICA in Düsseldorf was so big that it took two Auriga representatives to view and visit all the exhibitors demonstrating solutions and technology applicable to our experience and expertise. Covering the 16 different halls with over 5,000 exhibitors from 70 countries was a daunting task. I personally walked over 5.5 miles each day on the show floor.

I focused my time on the Information and Communication Technology halls and found a number of exhibitors demonstrating new and interesting wearables that required not only medical device expertise, but also cloud and mobile technology solutions. Since Auriga has a great deal of experience with all of these technologies, it led to numerous productive conversations on the show floor.