40 Years of MEDICA – a Success Story for Düsseldorf

After a brief "intermezzo" in Munich in 1971 the "Diagnostikwoche" moved to its final home in the beautiful city on the Rhine. This was definitely also helped by the fact that from 1972 the new exhibition centre complete with modern Congress Center was available here in the neighbourhood of Stockum. This busy flitting between venues, however, was not the reason why at best only older contemporaries remember the "Diagnostikwoche". This is due to the name change taking place in 1974. Since 1974 this "Diagnostikwoche" has been called MEDICA and under this catchy, also internationally understood title MEDICA experienced rapid development. Today, it is the world's largest medical trade fair and the accompanying MEDICA Congress is also Germany's most important continuous medical education event. In cross-industry terms MEDICA is among the ten largest trade fairs. For the 41st World Forum for Medicine (i.e. the 40th anniversary) held from 18 to 21 November more than 4,000 exhibitors from nearly 70 nations are expected once again.

Important milestones on the way to this 40th anniversary were the years 1992, 1999 and 2000.

Since 1992 COMPAMED has been held in parallel with MEDICA as a trade fair for suppliers for medical manufacturing. These days this allegedly small "spin-off" now boasts over 500 exhibitors so that MEDICA and COMPAMED together occupy the complete exhibition premises.

1999 and 2000 are years in MEDICA's history that are synonymous with integration! Those two years first saw the INTERHOSPITAL and one year later the national trade fair Interfab being integrated into MEDICA. This move was taken in response to requests voiced by the market to pool forces thereby creating an outstanding international event for both the in and out-patient health care sectors. Since 1999 the German Hospital Day has therefore also formed an integral part of MEDICA as the leading congress event for decision-makers in hospital management.

Incidentally, 1977 also saw a memorable milestone. Back then the organisers of MEDICA achieved a real pioneering feat by producing the first ever List of Exhibits for a trade fair. Even today it should be largely congruent with the inventory list of a well-equipped hospital. As heterogeneous as the ranges exhibited at MEDICA may seem at first, they are consistently geared to the demands of in and out-patient care. In a nutshell: MEDICA features everything needed at doctor's surgeries and clinics for precise diagnostics and effective treatment of patients.

The focal themes of MEDICA are: Electromedicine/Medical Technology, Laboratory Technology/Diagnostics, Physiotherapy/Orthopaedics, Medicinal Products (commodities and consumables), Information & Communication Technology, Textiles, Medical Furniture, Furnishings and Facility Management.

Although these principal areas have traditionally been the mainstays of the programme, MEDICA has always picked up on current developments. Who would have thought 40 years ago in those early days that MEDICA would become the leading professional event for medical IT one day? MEDICA kept pace with the entry of software and hardware in surgeries and clinics. In 2009 trade visitors will again be able to obtain information on innovative IT solutions from over 400 exhibitors. Almost 40, 000 visitors took an interest in this topic at the last event and in the well-established forum for telemedicine and IT, MEDICA MEDIA.

The high number of new exhibitors proves that MEDICA has not lost any of its appeal over the years. At its 40th anniversary event just under 700 new exhibitors have opted to participate at MEDICA 2009.

MEDICA is all geared up – exhibitors and visitors from throughout the world
A hallmark of MEDICA is the high international attendance it attracts. Of the 137,000 trade visitors registered at MEDICA 2008 approx. 55,000 came from abroad travelling to Düsseldorf from over 100 different countries. In terms of exhibitors, 70% have an international background at MEDICA 2009.

MEDICA bridges the gap between technical solutions and their application to specific clinical patterns by combining the trade fair with integrated "theme parks" such as MEDICA MEDIA (Telemedicine/ Medical IT, Hall 15), MEDICA VISION (Innovation Forum of the Research Institutes, Hall 3) or the Physiotherapy Forum (Hall 4) with the MEDICA Congress (Congress Center Düsseldorf/ CCD.Süd).

MEDICA Congress "goes international"
One of the components of the "MEDICA 2015" concept for the future is the extension of the MEDICA Congress seminar programme to include an international lecture series. This will be realised this year in the form of a continuous medical education module in English. The five main topics cover a wide range of themes from medical imaging and heart surgery to palliative medicine.

The 32nd German Hospital Day (CCD.Ost) will come under the heading "Hospital Politics after the General Election" this year and will provide information on the health care strategies of the different parliamentary groups for the coming legislative period and shed light on aspects of particular relevance to German hospitals in this connection.

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