Gil Alejo

Medical device stakeholders prepare for the FIME meeting

July 11, 2022
by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief
Medical device stakeholders who are active in the Latin and North American markets need no introduction when it comes to the annual FIME exhibition and conference. It’s an opportunity to forge new partnerships, catch up with old friends and get your finger on the pulse of the market.

In anticipation of the upcoming event, HealthCare Business News spoke to exhibition director for Informa Markets – Healthcare, Gil Alejo, to find out what attendees could expect from this year’s meeting.

HCB News: For people who don't know, what does FIME offer medical equipment stakeholders?
Gil Alejo: Florida International Medical Expo (FIME) is a crucial networking platform for exhibitors looking to connect with leading medical device and equipment manufacturers and distributors from over 45 countries. Besides making strategic business and commercial connections, this also opens the door to significant opportunities for small and medium-sized healthcare companies.

HCB News: Why are North and Latin America important markets for medical device manufacturers?
GA: With FIME positioned as the leading event in the medical device and equipment sector for the Americas, we can confidently say that there is strong potential in this region. Looking at the medical equipment industry in Brazil, for instance, there is a large and steadily increasing number of Brazilian companies in the medical equipment manufacturing industry, and the number of people employed in the production of such equipment has slightly escalated in recent years. This has also led to a growing trend in production value, peaking at nearly 10 billion Brazilian reals (USD2.58 billion) in 2018.

However, the medical technology industry in this South American country depends mostly on imports. In 2020, the value of imports totaled USD4.8 billion. Meanwhile, although smaller in size, medical equipment exports in Brazil generated more than USD1.7 billion that same year. In the same year, nanomedicine was the medical technology segment projected to reach the highest market value in Latin America, with a total of USD19.36 billion. This was followed by the respiratory monitoring devices market, with a forecasted value of more than three billion dollars that same year.

HCB News: How old is FIME and how has it evolved over the years?
GA: FIME has been running for over three decades and we are all set to mark our 32nd edition this year (2022). Over time, it has transformed from a simple networking platform to a globally connected one-stop destination for state-of-the-art products, services, and solutions for the healthcare industry in the Americas.

Looking at our transformation over the years, sustainability has always been at the core of our event — both from an operations perspective as well as logistics and deliverables. We care and have continuously sought to integrate key strategies, innovation, and partnerships to maintain a positive and beneficial impact on both people and the environment.

For years now, FIME has played a role in helping the market improve its own sustainability through our initiatives and connecting people with the networks and knowledge that can help solve the big challenges in the healthcare sector — be it economically, environmentally, or socially.

We run the event in an increasingly environmentally responsible manner by reducing our event’s carbon emissions, creating less waste by being paperless and using e-badges for entry and recyclable stands, which we call “better” stands, and always considering access to safety and well-being.

As a result, we have strengthened our position as the world’s leading event for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to meet the medical and scientific community in the Americas. We look forward to more collaborations and reaching greater heights in our upcoming editions.

HCB News: Are there any "must-see" events for the 2022 Expo?
GA: This year, FIME will feature an all-star lineup of speakers and experiences for attendees, ranging from industry conversations with healthcare leaders to the all-new Health Care Transformation Talks. The panels are tailored to executives in the healthcare sector that are interested in learning about the latest scientific discoveries, cutting-edge technology developments, and best practices from the field.

HCB News: Last year FIME had a virtual component, will that be the case this year? Or will the show transition back to a fully on-site experience?
GA: FIME will take place from July 27 to July 29, 2022 (Wednesday to Friday) at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Show hours will be from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on July 27 and July 28 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on July 29, 2022.

In addition to the in-person component of the show, FIME will also have an online experience for guests seeking to increase their networking opportunities and connections. The online component will begin on July 11 and run through August 29, 2022.

This is to enhance the customer experience and to improve the value customers get from using our products, whether that’s in a live face-to-face context or online, or a combination of both.

HCB News: What kind of issues do you expect will dominate conversations at this year's meeting?
GA: In addition to the Health Care Transformation Talks, FIME is kicking off the Innov8 Talks, a startup competition that will feature 20 innovative early and middle stage startups from all over the globe.

Promising entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their groundbreaking ideas on stage across three days.

Startups from a diverse array of fields ranging from clinical intelligence, screening and diagnostics, disease management, and drug discovery, among others, will face off across two rounds and a final pitch-off to determine who will come out on top of the booming healthcare startup world.