Around 1,900 visitors, 50 congress presentations and 189 exhibitors from 11 countries are the impressive figures from the premiere of the joint event MT-CONNECT and MedTech Summit. But the new MT-CONNECT international trade fair for suppliers and manufacturers of medical technology and MedTech Summit international medical technology congress had even more to offer. "We successfully breathed life into innovation and knowledge-sharing – the DNA of this new event in southern Germany," says Exhibition Director Alexander Stein. "We have laid the foundation for a platform for manufacturers and suppliers, researchers, developers and end users."
No less than 24 percent of the exhibitors came from outside Germany, and there were also many international visitors, from 25 countries, mainly in Europe. Digital transformation was one of the key issues for both exhibitors and visitors – from robot-assisted operations and an electronic medication plan available from the ambulance to the patient's GP to the interconnection of all medical equipment in a hospital. The exhibitors also provided a perspective on the medicine of the future, featuring nano-coated implants for better bio-compatibility or wound healing solutions using cold plasma. Many exhibitors showcased software and hardware components, electronic systems and micro technology. "We are leveraging the experience we have gained and the insights from the many conversations with exhibitors and visitors. Our job now is to further develop the joint format of MT-CONNECT and MedTech Summit in close consultation with the sector." says Stein.
Medical technology on course for growth
The successful launch of MT-CONNECT also demonstrated that the industry is on a stable growth trajectory. At the event, Hans-Peter Bursig, Managing Director of the Medical Engineering Division of the ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association), presented the latest market data for medical engineering technology: "For Germany, the ZVEI is expecting a growth rate of up to five percent both this year and the following year." The ZVEI forecasts higher growth for America and Asia of seven percent in 2017 and eight percent in 2018. Bursig stressed the importance of MT-CONNECT as an essential event for the sector: "Platforms for discussion on how the digital transformation of the health industry can be implemented are becoming increasingly important."
Exhibition forum and partnering event
The very successful partnering event, along with the exhibition forum, also focused on networking and knowledge-sharing. The partnering event brought together exhibitors, visitors and congress delegates for a total of 489 pre-booked networking chats on specific topics. At the MT-CONNECT exhibition forum, a programme of lectures, brief presentations and discussions ensured the transfer of expert knowledge. Apart from brief presentations by exhibitors, start-up companies also introduced their concepts and ideas to the audience.
The challenge of regulation: the new MDR (medical device regulation)
Parallel to the trade fair, congress delegates at the MedTech Summit discussed a total of 16 trending topics, not just digitalisation and eHealth. The MedTech Summit was organised by the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs and realised by Bayern Innovativ GmbH. The concept and content of the congress programme resulted from close consultation with the honorary sponsor Forum MedTech Pharma e.V. There was a lot of discussion about the new Europe-wide regulation on medical product approvals, the Medical Device Regulation (MDR), which has to be implemented very soon. "The European MDR has serious consequences for the mid-sized companies that are characteristic of the medical technology industry,'' says Dr Matthias Schier, Managing Director of the Forum MedTechPharma. "The implementation period is very short, because the changes involve a huge amount of work for the industry. We discussed in-depth how this can nevertheless be achieved."
Setting the policy agenda at MedTech.Dialog.Bayern
At an opening event during MT-CONNECT on 22 June, the Bavarian state government launched the MedTech.Dialog.Bayern discussion forum, in which representatives of government, companies, service providers and funding agencies discussed future opportunities and challenges for the sector. Both the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Health Ministry are involved in this initiative. The aim is to develop concrete solutions and approaches for policymakers. To this end four expert groups were established that in the coming months will develop recommendations for action on regulation and digitalisation. These recommendations will then be presented at the MT-CONNECT and MedTech Summit 2018.
About MT-CONNECT and the MedTech Summit
MT-CONNECT is the international trade fair for suppliers and manufacturers of medical technology. As an industry platform, MT-CONNECT brings together expertise from all sub-segments of medical technology, from technology and production to financing, marketing and regulatory affairs. It is where suppliers, manufacturers and service providers, along with R&D and training institutes from the medical technology sector, gather to share their expertise. The international MedTech Summit congress takes place parallel to and in the immediate vicinity of the MT-Connect trade fair. For many years, the main areas of focus of the congress programme have included developments in medical technologies, diagnostics, digitisation and mobile health. Apart from technological content, the congress also explores innovation management and regulatory affairs. The honorary sponsor of the MT-CONNECT fair and MedTech Summit is Forum MedTech Pharma e.V., the largest network for the health sector in Germany and the rest of Europe. The next MT-CONNECT and MedTech Summit will take place on 11 and 12 April 2018.
More information about MedTech Summit are available from: