The Medica Start-Up Park is the meeting place for networking for and with the...
The Medica Start-Up Park is the meeting place for networking for and with the young start-up scene.

© Constanze Tillmann/Messe Düsseldorf

News • Platform for new companies

MEDICA 2023: Start-ups are shaking things up

For years, MEDICA trade fair (November 13-16 in Düsseldorf) has also been the global leading event for start-ups seeking to enter the health sector. Among the more than 5,000 exhibiting companies, there will accordingly again be several hundred young developer teams seeking business contacts for cooperation concerning funding, production, product approval, marketing or sales of their product ideas.

Numerous programme highlights place a targeted focus on the start-up scene and offer start-ups an ideal platform to present their innovative solutions and to do business with the international world of professional healthcare. Among those worth mentioning are the 12th Medica Start-Up Competition, the 15th Healthcare Innovation World Cup, the Medica Start-Up Park. 

At the Medica Start-up Competition, the focus is on the entire spectrum of innovations for the healthcare sector: from artificial intelligence (AI) to health apps, solutions for laboratory diagnostics and medical robotics. For the first time this year, “Sustainability” features as a novel category.

The winners of the Medica Start-up Competition 2022 are: 1st Idoven (Spain),...
The winners of the Medica Start-up Competition 2022 are: 1st Idoven (Spain), 2nd AlgoDx (Sweden), 3rd Reactive Robotics (Germany).

© Messe Düsseldorf

Previous year’s winning team continues to profit from global visibility

The Spanish start-up Idoven was the winning team in the competition of 2022 and has subsequently profited immensely from participating in the event. The young company has, in their own words, developed an AI-based platform for “cardiology-as-a-service”. This proprietary AI uses electrocardiograms (ECG) of any length and by any diagnostic tool to improve the accuracy and consistency of the interpretation. Rika Christanto, COO at Idoven, is pleased with the effect of participating at Medica and the competition finals on the stage of the Medica Connected Healthcare Forum: “I was very surprised at how global this trade fair is!” The Medica Start-up Competition gave her start-up an immense, global visibility, notwithstanding which Idoven also wants to enter the German market. 

According to Rika Christanto, it was also helpful to share experiences with other start-ups during Medica, for example concerning how to overcome legal obstacles to entering the market. Currently, Idoven is strengthening the partnerships that came out of Medica 2022, for example with the company GE Healthcare regarding a project to reduce the necessary efforts for interpretation of ECGs in a clinical setting. “We also signed an agreement with AstraZeneca regarding a cardiac insufficiency project”, says Rika Christanto. This is primarily concerned with avoiding hospitalisation of affected persons. Together with the pharmaceutical company, the star-up is therefore working on solutions to improve individual therapies. To do this, Idoven’s analytical platform uses early data from patient records to estimate the effectiveness of planned treatments and the necessity for changes. 

In order to continue this growth course, Idoven is looking for further partnerships, working intensely on the performance of its proprietary AI tools and on the evaluation of the usefulness of their solutions in clinical practice. 

Healthcare Innovation World Cup: the next generation of intelligent medtech devices

For start-ups, scale-ups and smaller mid-level companies, participation in the 15th Healthcare Innovation World Cup could also be interesting. The focus here is on intelligent “Internet of Medical Things” (IoMT) solutions, e.g., digital biomarkers, smart band-aids or wearables with network connectivity. The 12 finalists, chosen by a renowned professional jury, are invited to present their businesses during Medica 2023 on the programme stage of the Medica Connected Healhcare Forum (Hall 12). 

I can say that winning [the Healthcare Innovation World Cup] was very helpful to make the company and its products known

Mark Edwards

The previous year’s winner was ViewMind Inc., a company specialising in the management of neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s. Mark Edwards, CEO and co-founder of ViewMind Inc., says that while the effects of winning cannot be quantified, “I can say that winning was very helpful to make the company and its products known”. This start-up, too, has completed another round of financing, which was facilitated by their success at Medica. The already CE-certified ViewMind product, which is already on the market, was validated in approx. 30 clinical trials on four continents with thousands of patients. Approval by the FDA is currently ongoing. 

ViewMind initially addresses the pharmaceutical industry, says Mark Edwards, but also the healthcare sector in general. “We are working on clinical trials with several pharmaceutical companies in order to give them a tool with which to find suitable participants, set up cohorts precisely and measure the effects of therapy with corresponding sensitivity.” The start-up sees itself as a pioneer for the development of precision drugs.

Meet-up point at Medica Start-Up Park

The Medica Start-Up Park also emphasises networking and has established itself as the central meet-up point for the start-up scene. The start-up initiative "Up To Future" from Ukraine will be there for a second time. In 2022, registration could only take place shortly before the trade fair. Among the Ukrainian start-ups promoted by the initiative was HandyUsound with its product idea for a portable ultrasound system. The product met with such a great response from the trade fair audience that the founding team wants to use the opportunity again this year to make further business contacts. 

Megnosis from Korea is also participating in the Medica Start-Up Park this year. The company has developed EEG helmets which are intended to detect dementia at an early stage and ameliorate the effects through the stimulation of brain cells and neurons. 

Germany is also represented at the joint stand. One example is AssistMe. For Medica 2023, they will present a smart sensor system for use in underwear for incontinence. The system serves as a kind of indicator for liquids. Through a clip connected to the incontinence aid, data retrieved is transmitted to a software cloud system. This way, nursing staff in an institutional setting can better care for residents according to their needs, because with one glance at a central location, staff can determine when it seems necessary to change which person’s incontinence aid.

Source: Messe Düsseldorf


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