After the lack of travel during the pandemic lockdowns, it was only inevitable that visitors return to the physical showing of the 14th edition of Medical Fair Asia and 5th edition of Medical Manufacturing Asia, organised by Messe Düsseldorf Asia (MDA), which returned to the physical, large-scale format after the digital-only edition in 2020. Held in Singapore, the physical components of the two co-located trade exhibitions for the medical, healthcare and MedTech sectors were a resounding success, says the organiser. Visitors and exhibitors were also able to engage with each other through its AI-powered business-matching system for up to seven days after the physical events had concluded, and by closing time on 9 September, 36,400 online engagements were registered on the digital platform.
Southeast Asian countries were well represented. More than 37% of all visitors came from outside of Singapore, with Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and Vietnam being the top five visiting countries.
Florian Degenhardt, International Sales Manager from WAS, a German specialist vehicles and ambulances manufacturer exhibiting under T&K Worldwide Commerce shared, “We’ve met people from all over Asia: from India to Japan. We’ve even had delegations from Laos and Cambodia; countries I don’t recall having strong representation at previous shows.” Reaffirming its position as the region’s leading business-promoting platform for the healthcare and medical sector, the exhibition hosted 19 national pavilions and country groups, including two new national pavilions from Indonesia and Latvia. According to the organiser of the Latvian pavilion, Jadviga Neimane, Senior Project Manager, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), the show had proven to be a good platform to introduce Latvian manufacturers to the Asian market.
Mangasi Parsaoran Siahaan, Coordinator of Programme and Evaluation, Ministry of Industry of Indonesia affirmed, “Indonesian companies have been coming for many years but 2022 is the first year the Ministry of Industry has organised a pavilion to support local companies in showcasing sophisticated world-class and high-tech equipment to the rest of the region and beyond. The event has been a success and we hope to return.” Making a comeback after a four-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Medical Manufacturing Asia hosted 100 MedTech companies from 18 countries and regions, including national and group pavilions from Singapore, Austria, Germany, Japan, and the US. For many of the exhibitors, it was their first time. Almost half of the 23 local MedTech companies exhibiting at the Singapore Pavilion were first-time participants.
Jointly organised by MDA and long-time partner Singapore Precision Engineering & Technology Association (SPETA), the specialist trade fair offered regional and international companies the platform to showcase their innovative next-generation products and solutions to one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The number and quality of visitors to the exhibition demonstrated the pent-up demand for manufacturing technology in the region, as local companies looked beyond the pandemic and towards adapting their operations to meet future requirements of the healthcare sector. German exhibitor and organiser of the IVAM Microtechnology Network pavilion, Dr Thomas R Dietrich, Chief Executive Officer, IVAM, said the exhibition was a great platform for European companies to network and build contacts in Singapore.
Highlights of the two shows:
– Community Care Pavilion
A signature feature, the Community Care Pavilion has been showcasing products and solutions for non-hospital settings such as elder care facilities, nursing homes and rehabilitation centres since it was introduced three iterations ago. Solutions for remote monitoring, telemedicine, preventive care and the management of chronic diseases were well-represented in response to Singapore’s focus on expanding preventive and chronic care into communities.
– The Start-Up Park
Returning once again was the Start-Up Park – a key highlight at the exhibition. Southeast Asia’s openness to innovative new companies has produced a thriving start-up ecosystem estimated to be worth US$13 Billion in 2022, and the Start-Up Park has proven to be an ideal platform to meet movers and shakers from that ecosystem. It provided some of the best next-gen start-ups from the regional healthcare scene, and opportunities to meet potential investors, buyers, and industry influencers.
The Start-Up Podium hosted talks and presentations by a range of key stakeholders including hospitals, the pharmaceutical sector, research and development (R&D), government agencies, industry associations, academia, and more. The participating start-up companies were given opportunities to speak and pitch their products at exclusive closed-door focus group sessions with international experts, and meet with new connections at the popular, networking sessions at the end of the day.
Dr Jose Rene de Grano, President of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines shared, “I’ve been impressed with the vibrancy of the exhibition and the (Start-Up Park) podium; I was not sure what to expect but it has turned out to be very busy. Something that stood out for me this year has been the technology on show, in particular the artificial intelligence (AI) and big data solutions.”
– IVAM Marketing Prize Asia
For the first time this year, the IVAM Marketing Prize Asia was awarded. It celebrates creative and outstanding achievements in medical technology marketing by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Six local companies were shortlisted for the prize which was awarded at the IVAM Forum.
Topical talks and workshops complemented the exhibitions
Alongside the fairs were a comprehensive series of industry-focused conferences, seminars, forums and workshops covering a wide-range of topics from Sports Medicine, Wearable Technologies and Medical Devices to Community Care, Pandemic Management and more.
Returning for its third iteration, the CME (Continuing Medical Education) accredited programme attracted healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines. International speakers from sports-related specialities ranging from sports medicine and sports science, physiotherapists, sports techies, professional athletes and related healthcare professionals discussed innovative approaches in prevention, training, regeneration and rehabilitation. This year’s edition also enabled Hong Kong speakers to give their presentations through a virtual segment for the first time.
The Wearable Technologies Conference also returned for its second showing, drawing a trade audience who were eager to learn about the latest advances in developing and emerging technologies in the fast-moving wearable tech industry. Attendees also picked up advice from industry experts on how companies should introduce new products to the wearable tech markets, and enjoyed an exclusive networking opportunity at the end of the programme.
The Paradigm Shifts in Healthcare Symposium, returned for its second time with the theme of Prehabilitation & Pandemic Management in Community Health. Experts from Singapore General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital shared their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and their insights into some of the innovations and solutions which developed during the pandemic; from teleconsultations to managing burnout and fatigue among staff, and from simulation training methods to the shifting of chronic pain care from hospitals to the community.
The IVAM Forum: High-Tech for Medical Devices brought together leading companies in the specialised fields of the micro- and nanotechnology sectors. Topics presented included modules and components for medical technology, lab-on-a-chip technology, inspection equipment and testing services, assembly, automation and production technology and process technology.
The next editions of Medical Fair Asia and Medical Manufacturing Asia will take place from 11-13 September 2024, and Medical Fair Thailand will be held from 13-15 September 2023 at BITEC, Bangkok. For more information visit: www.medicalfair-asia.com and www.medmanufacturing-asia.com