Today is the last day of the annual ’Medica Madness.’ Last year over 130,000 people from all around the globe trekked to Düsseldorf for Medica, the world’s largest medical trade fair. And by being among the crowds in the 17 exhibition halls, my estimation is that this figure is exceeded this year. Even in this digital age it is obvious that face-to-face communication is still essential.
Here are 5 things I learned at Medica 2016:
1. No modern healthcare without PVC and plastics
Plastics are everywhere at Medica. Almost every stand evolves around plastics in one way or another — from disposable PVC urine bags to high-tech diagnostic devices. High quality treatment and care would simply not be possible without PVC and plastics.
2. PVC still the number 1 plastic for disposables
Whether it is tubing, oxygen masks, blood bags, urine bags, IV bags or another of the countless disposable medical devices, PVC is still the most popular material. The reasons are obvious: affordability, flexibility, ease of processing, patient safety, transparency etc. etc.
3. The market is moving away from DEHP
DEHP has long been the plasticiser of choice for PVC-based medical devices. Yet from my experience at Medica 2016, the market is increasingly using other plasticisers.
4. PVC is strong in rehabilitation solutions
Demographic change is a megatrend – in many countries the population is getting older, which means that the demand for rehabilitation equipment is growing. At Medica it was obvious that PVC is an ideal material for such equipment. PVC is colourful, flexible, inflatable and can be used for an endless array of rehabilitation and ergonomic solutions.
5. “I have to ask my technical department what plastic type the device is made from”
As a plastic professional, I find it interesting to know why a certain product is made from a certain plastic type. This curiosity was not fully satisfied at Medica 2016. When asked, many sales representatives could not answer which plastics were used. One simply said: “Sorry, I can’t answer that and our technical staff is at work at the plant.”