13 Interesting Developments at #MEDICA2018

MEDICA comes to a close in Dusseldorf, Germany, but not without some interesting developments…more than a few of which could upend healthcare. The MEDICA and related COMPAMED event is one of the oldest and arguably the largest medical trade fair in the world – it attracted more than 5,100 exhibitors from 70 countries in 17 halls this year.  The MEDICA show doesn’t simply focus on one area say pharma or IVD, it covers all aspects of the patient workflow, which means all kinds of healthcare products and services were on display: ambulance manufacturers, diagnostic tests companies, robotics firms and tubing products, healthcare software.  While there is a European and German focus to the meeting, more than a third of the attendees are from outside Europe, according to MEDICIA. EU Regulations were the highlight of a well-attended with Nicole Denjoy of COCIR at Medica Trade Fair.   An Infection Prevention Roundtable with Experts seminar was a highlight of the conferences at the meeting, and there were talks on IT and preventing piracy among others.

Some of the most interesting developments, were on the exhibit floor, where some problem-solving inventions and new products were displayed.  Kalorama information notes the following:

  • Ruling out HIV-2 in HIV Tests –  The choice of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-2 differs from that for HIV-1, underscoring the importance of differentiating between the two. To that end, Avioq launched its VioOne™ HIV Profile™ Supplemental Assay at MEDICA 2018.  The test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for confirmation and differentiation of individual antibodies directed to various gene products of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1 Group M & Group O) and Type 2 (HIV-2) in human serum or plasma. The HIV Profile™ is intended as an aid in the diagnosis of infection with HIV-1 and/or HIV-2.  HIV-2 is most common in western Africa and is becoming more common in India, although numbers there are still relatively small. Small numbers of cases have also been seen in Portugal, France, other European countries including the UK and the Americas, largely in individuals of west African origin or their sexual partners.  Kalorama Information is the publisher of such titles as The Worldwide Market for In Vitro Diagnostics, 11th Edition, covers HIV testing markets among other infectious disease categories.
  • Robot Nurse? The Made in Moscow exhibit of Neurobotics company (part of Zelenograd Development Corporation) demonstrated an anthropomorphic robot called “Alice.”  The Alice robot exhibits the ability to read people’s emotions and react accordingly.  The company says It can eventually be used as a nurse, or a physician assistant. Such a robot will be able to perform an initial examination of patients in the future.
  • Wearable “Beat to Beat” Blood Pressure Monitor – The ViCardio device is the world’s first wearable, beat to beat, non-invasive, accurate, blood pressure monitor. It causes no arterial compression, requires no biological calibration and produces an arteriogram equivalent to an invasive intra-arterial line. Using an optical-electronic micro-motion sensor that allows blood pressure to be measured with each beat of the heart in a simple and elegant wrist-based device, ViCardio is a pain-free way of taking regular discrete readings.
  • Using Virtual Reality To Treat Fear of Spiders – Arachnophobia is what experts call the fear of spiders, and a VR/AR system from research-giant Fraunhofer Institute is intended to combat it in a patient-safe way.  Around 3.5 to 6.1 percent of the population suffer from this fear.  Together with partners, Fraunhofer researchers are developing a digital therapy system that will enable treatment in the home environment and provide those affected with a better sense of security. A demonstration of the system was on display during the meeting.
  • A Better-Looking CPAP Mask (Finally?) – ResMed displayed its minimal-contact full face CPAP mask, AirFit F30.  The system sits below the nasal bridge, preventing top-of-the-nose red marks and irritation, and reducing feelings of claustrophobia for some full face wearers. users reduce facial marks, wear glasses in bed and be closer to their partner.    The company also claims that the QuietAir vent included in the product is quieter than ambient noise in the bedroom.
  • Picturing Diagnostics Statistics – A system called Medicus provides a visual interface and translation tools to the often confusing diagnostic statistics.  Diagnostic data is generally one of the hardest types of health data to combine if they’re coming from different sources, due to the challenge of the different standards for clinical data structure, such as HL7 v2, HL7 v3, CDA, FHIR and the different coding standards for health data such as: LOINC, SNOMED, SNOMED-CT, UMLS.   Medicus converts numbers from one structure and provides insight into how to interpret that in other formats while, the company says, preserving as much of its crucial medical context as possible.
  • Know the Patient’s Weight as You Transfer Them – Knowing patient weight is essential for administering treatments and delivering correct care to the patient.  However, with immobile patients this is not easy, with the only solutions being bed weighing scales or hoist scales, both of which can be cumbersome and time consuming.  But often there is no time for a weigh in.  The Patient Transfer Scale aims to fix that – t is a transfer slide with in-built weighing scale, and means patients can be weighed during lateral transfer from trolley to bed, or bed to bed.   The Patient Transfer Scale, or PTS, can be used in the same way as a transfer board with a stop for 3-4 seconds to weigh in.
  • New HIV Rapid – Earlier detection of HIV is essential for survival from the disease, and there is high demand for better rapids.  Owen Mumford Group exhibited its Simplitude™ Pro, what the company claims is the world’s first professional use rapid diagnostic test with a built in safety lancet, blood collection unit, and test strip. The device has been designed to reduce pre-analytical errors and deliver a reliable result.  The Simplitude Pro, planned for 2019, is the result of a strategic partnership between Owen Mumford, a leading player in the medical device industry and Atomo Diagnostics, a product design and manufacturing company based in Australia.
  • Complete FDA-Approved Robot Exoskeleton – Richmond, CA-based Ekso Robotics demonstrated the EksoGT Robot Exoskeleton at the meeting.  The system is the first commercial robot exoskeleton to be approved for use by the FDA in cases of paralysis of one side of the body; usually caused by a stroke-induced brain lesion.
  • Connected Stethoscope – eKuore ONE’s exhibit featured their adjunct stethoscope device and software.  eKuore One allows objective tests using a traditional stethoscope.  The system connects to traditional stereoscopes and turns them into connected devices, that can obtain second opinions and allow for visualization and integration into telemedicine.  Kalorama Information reports on connected devices in the following telemedicine study: https://www.kaloramainformation.com/Telehealth-Patient-Monitoring-11076070
  • Innovative Ear Infection Diagnostic – OtoNexus Medical displayed their ultrasound MEMS transducer that can detect hard-to-diagnose middle-ear infections (Otitis Media) using a non-invasive technology. The capacitative micromachined ultrasound transducer (CUMT) system can determine if there is liquid or air in the ear and distinguish between diseases.   This is important not only for better outcome, but to reduce antibiotic prescription in unnecessary cases.
  • “Gamified” Neuromuscular Stimulation Device – Neuromuscular stimulation doesn’t work if the stimulation process is boring.  That’s the premise behind South Korean healthcare robotics startup Exosystems’s new product.  The firm unveiled its portable product, the exoRehab, a device that helps provide “Personalized Rehabilitation Guidance” for patients in need of neuromuscular rehab.  The exoRehab personalizes its exercises to the patient to make sure the routine is not boring and keeps the patient stimulated.  It allows users to execute rehab training exercises based on their own body data and monitor the health status of their affected area.  Most conventional rehab methods only provide firm, rigid ways to exercise and recover
  • Friendlier Adhesives for Wearables.  The focus on wearable devices and drug delivery systems suggests a need for better skin adhesives, and Dow Silicones Corporation demonstrated its MG7-1020 Soft Skin Adhesive at the meeting.  The company said the product delivers the highest adhesion in the company’s soft skin adhesives — all without the skin irritation and discomfort more commonly associated with the removal of acrylic adhesives.

Kalorama Information is the publisher of such titles as The Worldwide Market for In Vitro Diagnostics, 11th Edition, and The Global Market for Medical Devices, 8th Edition.  The firm will be noting and commenting on events throughout the meeting.   Already of interest are several proposed announcements, new products and displays: