MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM takes a look at the new digital reality and revolutionary technologies

October 05, 2022
As the world's leading medical trade fair, MEDICA in Düsseldorf, Germany, annually offers innovations for the entire workflow of outpatient and inpatient healthcare. Among the more than 4,200 participating companies, MEDICA 2022 (November 14 - 17) will once again feature several hundred start-ups, for whom the event with its high level of internationality (more than 70% of visitors come from abroad - from around 150 nations) represents the gateway to the world and facilitates contacts across all continents.

One example is the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (in Hall 12), a special platform for young entrepreneurs. The most important issues of the four-day-program for the year 2022 are: Connected medical things, AI & big data, robotics, the health metaverse, the future of hospitals and care centers, health monitoring and diagnostics, mobile health, digital therapeutics and mental health. About a hundred chosen start-ups and scale-ups will present themselves on the forum stage during the MEDICA DISRUPT Sessions. The finals of the 11th MEDICA Start-Up COMPETITION and the “14th Healthcare Innovation World Cup” will be the highlights of the program.

The 11th MEDICA Start-up COMPETITION is looking for outstanding solutions for the healthcare industry ranging from health apps and new tools for the collection and AI-assisted analysis of healthcare data to robotic assistance systems and new approaches in diagnostics. By mid-September, hundreds of innovators had already submitted their applications to participate in the finals of the competition at MEDICA 2022. The 12 best finalists selected by a jury of experts will pitch for the grand prize on November 15 at 1:00 pm.

On November 14 at 1:00 pm, the finals for the “14th Healthcare Innovation World Cup” will start. There, another 12 selected finalists will pitch to win with their solutions for the “Internet of Medical Things” (IoMT). The spectrum of developments ranges from interconnected medical technological devices and wearable technologies to digital biomarkers, smart patches and intelligent implants.

What the metaverse will bring

The metaverse is going to be one of the important topics at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. The new buzzword stands for a new digital reality which focusses on technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the possibilities of processing big data in real time by artificial intelligence, and digital twins. This could lead to revolutionary changes in health care, both for monitoring health and treatments. This trend provides the focus for the content of a symposium, starting on November 16 at 12:00 pm. with Eva Garcia Ramos, CEO and co-founder of WIVI Vision, as the speaker. The start-up concentrates mostly on children and adolescents. Its products (including 3D visualization functionality) aim to improve healthcare in terms of assessing and treating vision problems. In Europe, approximately 30% of all children are affected by some form of visual impairment, but only some of these are adequately diagnosed and treated, according to the young company. 95 to 100% of these cases could be assessed and improve through the use of its special products and services.

VR & AR helpful for treating severe illness

Khora will also take the stage at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM. The Danish start-up has worked in collaboration with Rigshospitalet, for example, on an augmented reality universe for children and young people aged 10 to 14 who have to spend considerable time in hospitals with cancer or leukemia. It is intended to make daily life easier for them. Khora created “Snail Battle” which allows persons affected to use plants to fight evil monster snails. During the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM, CEO Simon Lajboschitz will also explain how virtual reality can help schizophrenia patients with auditory hallucinations. From attention deficit disorder to developing and testing medical devices using virtual patients and simulation, a wide variety of other metaverse opportunities will be addressed on November 16.

Political framework

What the near future of digitization in Germany will look like is also determined by government policies. Dr. Susanne Ozegowski, head of the “Digitization and Innovation” department at the German Federal Ministry of Health, will explain her institution's digitization strategy. The possibilities of digital applications for health (DiGA) and for care (DiPA) will offer many inspirations for talks on November 16 at 3:00 pm.

A variety of topics at the MEDICA START-UP PARK

Thericon and KuartisMED are among the companies participating in the MEDICA START-UP PARK. The shared booth (also located in Hall 12) has established itself over the years as a central meeting point for business and networking with the young founders' scene, and this year will have about 40 participants. German start-up Thereon see itself as the first company to bring imaging compiled from several different sources into the operating room as a visual aid. The display of previously invisible tissue features is shown on a single screen along with standard color images. This diagnostic information and its intuitive display are expected to enable faster and more accurate surgical outcomes. Exactly how this works will be explained at MEDICA START-UP PARK. Turkish company KuartisMED concentrates on innovative solutions for the wellbeing of newborns. Since infants born before 34 weeks of pregnancy have inadequate coordination of the sucking and swallowing reflex, they depend on feeding tubes for nutrition. The non-invasive medical device by KuartisMED aims to help with evaluating the maturity of these reflexes in the future.

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