Robot colleagues as multi-talents in the medical sector
The highly anticipated highlights in the Exhibition Space (with online showrooms) included the announcement of the KUKA Innovation Award 2020 award from KUKA, a company specializing in robotics and automation. All participating research and developer teams received the lightweight robot LBR Med prior to this year’s Medical Robotic Challenge ad they integrated this robotic component into their own concept for developing a medical product. The HIFUSK team from the renowned Scuola Superiore Sant´Anna University in Pisa, Italy won this competition with a robotic application concept for focused ultrasound surgery. This non-invasive therapy method has the potential to change cancer treatment in the future since this therapy can also be performed on an out outpatient basis - it is gentle and the tissue ablation methods do not leave any scars.
An industry in transition - with a platform to match
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Such examples show that the medical technology industry is working hand in hand with developers from research and science full of innovative power to counteract the challenging business development. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will change the industry and the need for a globally functioning (including virtual) platform for exchange and good business is demonstrated in the new trend report “How SARS-CoV-2 is changing the medical technology industry”. This report by the German industry association SPECTARIS and Roland Berger (in cooperation with the medical technology cluster MedicalMountains) was published as part of virtual.MEDICA 2020. Regardless of the current business trend with declining sales due to the crisis, experts also expect drastic market and competitive changes in the medium to long term. “The crisis has set in motion a process that is irreversible. Digital working models as well as sales, service and exhibition concepts now play a very important role in the strategy of many companies and will, even after COVID-19, continue to be prioritized at least at the same level as traditional working methods and personal customer contacts,” explained Jörg Mayer, Managing Director of SPECTARIS.
Regarding virtual.MEDICA, Mayer added: “Economic activity and winning new customers have been curbed and made more difficult by the pandemic. Therefore, it was even more important for the medical technology industry to meet up, at least virtually, at MEDICA. Messe Düsseldorf provided the urgently needed opportunity for exchanging and transferring knowledge in the form of its many forums and conferences. It has also become clear that trade fairs are the primary drivers behind sales and marketing for the industry, even during the pandemic. virtual.MEDICA was a pioneer in this respect - both during the transition period, and it surely will be again in the future when face-to-face events are possible.”