14 - 17 May 2024 OTWorld
09/05/2022 OTWorld

OTWorld 2022: Welcome Back in Globally Changing Times Continuing to Improve Public Health Even in Times of Crisis

Two years of pandemic and almost three months of war in Ukraine, shortages of skilled workers and caring for the war-wounded – and at the same time, threats of financial cuts in the health industry: From 10 to 13 May, the OTWorld International Trade Show and World Congress will be dedicated to caring for the weakest members of society using medical aids. Mobility, independence and a fulfilled life are only possible for those affected when they are provided with professional care and perfectly fitting medical aids such as bandages, insoles, orthoses, prostheses and even wheelchairs.

Under the motto "Welcome back – Willkommen zurück“, OTWorld is returning to Leipzig after a four-year break. The worldwide modern orthopaedic treatment and care sector will finally be getting together once again for professional exchanges in Leipzig, the city of trade fairs. Countless visitors from over 70 countries have already registered for OTWorld alongside 440 exhibitors from 36 countries and over 300 international speakers. Well-known ambassadors from the world of sports such as Dirk Nowitzki, Fabian Hambüchen as well as the Paralympics stars Léon Schäfer and Johannes Floors have announced they will be attending. Federal Health Minister Prof Karl Lauterbach will at least be there in spirit if not in person and will be opening OTWorld with a digital welcoming speech on 10 May at 4:45 pm in Room 1 inside Hall 3.

"It is not possible to provide orthopaedic treatment and care when working from home", explains Alf Reuter, President of the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT), conceptual partner of OTWorld. Prothetists and orthotists as well as orthopaedic footwear technicians have been providing care under the most difficult conditions in the last two years. The pandemic is not yet over. Already, the next crisis is on the way with supply issues, dramatic increases in prices for materials and energy as well as a war in Europe with growing numbers of people who need our care. "We need to be aware that together with those financing and prescribing the care, we must take on our responsibility. If we do not, it will lead to dramatic deficits as well as inadequate care. We cannot afford to economise on the quality of care", Alf Reuter adds. It is more vital than ever to have personal conversations about the level of technology available, the opportunities it offers as well as its limits in Germany, Europe and across the world. "I am particularly looking forward to having the service we provide in the industry recognised by the federal government in the form of a digital opening speech by Federal Health Minister Prof Karl Lauterbach and to talking to other decision-makers in politics and health insurance who are coming in person to OTWorld."

Innovation From the Cradle to the Grave

Orthopaedic treatment and care provide support for people from the cradle to the grave. A correspondingly broad spectrum of innovations and care concepts will be presented at the sector’s largest get-together in three exhibition halls by 440 exhibitors from 36 countries. For all kinds of patients from children and war-wounded to multi-morbid cases, there will be everything from high-tech prosthetics and orthotics to insoles, 3D printers and lymphatic care.

"Everyone is so much looking forward to seeing each other again after the four-year break due to the pandemic", says Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe. "We are expecting exhibitors from 36 countries who will be presenting their innovations at this worldwide unique sector get-together for modern orthopaedic treatment and care. Market leaders and start-ups alike will be using OTWorld as an innovation and communication platform to create new standards in caring for people with medical aids."

For the first time, products and services will be presented in nine treatment areas: mobility limitations, diabetes and vascular diseases, osteoarthritis and degenerative diseases, stroke, sport prophylaxis and injuries due to accidents, care of the back, movement disorders and paralysis, cancer and prevention. This should make it even easier for visitors to this international trade show to find information on the solutions they are looking for.

The three new Treatment Routes for Cerebral Palsy, Insoles and Lymphological Diseases, will serve to add additional focus to these topics by demonstrating and explaining the professional and evidence-based orthopaedic treatment and care needed in these areas from A to Z. Tours will take you around the themed special presentations (special shows) without any additional registration in advance.

OTWorld also has another new highlight in the form of the Start-Up Zone in Hall 3. A total of 15 start-ups from 13 countries will be presenting their solutions and concepts to an international audience in the fully booked Start-Up Zone. Numerous exhibitor workshops and digital Innovation Talks as well as the Digitalisation Forum round off the list of events on offer for visitors.

Numerous Sources of Inspiration at the World Congress

Over 300 international experts are travelling to Leipzig for the World Congress to offer insights in German and English into the latest scientific discoveries and international developments in treatment and care, from orthopaedics in sports and for children to fundamental research and digitalisation. Under the patronage of the congress presidents Prof Dr Martin Engelhardt, Chief Physician of the Hospital Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine/Medical Director of Osnabrück Hospital), and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Merkur Alimusaj, Head of Technical Orthopaedics at Heidelberg University Hospital, a widely varied congress programme has been created over the last two years. Together with the programme committee, they have put together keynote lectures, symposia, specialist workshops, courses and factory talks. As part of the new "interdisciplinary leaders" series, care teams from the Netherlands and USA will be presenting concepts on care for diabetic foot syndrome and leg prosthetics.

"High-profile speakers from all over the world will be offering an exciting and varied programme all in the space of four days. There is something for everyone, whether you are a craftsperson, a medical worker in everyday treatment and care or an engineer working on fundamental research. "The Congress is a place where you can have conversations about your own special area of knowledge as well as interdisciplinary topics", says Prof Martin Engelhardt. The sports medicine specialist will be providing programme highlights on the treatment and care of athletes in both professional and amateur sports. "The topics of orthopaedics in sports and in disabled sports are personally very important to me and will be more closely examined in various event formats at the congress."

For the professional engineer Merkur Alimusaj, cooperation is the most important topic: "We designed the congress to enable stronger interdisciplinary cooperation between prosthetists, orthotists, doctors and therapists across national borders. The mixture of craftsmanship and research in the programme is intended to lay a foundation for groundbreaking synergies. It is not enough to improve our knowledge of treatment and care and further develop this in communication with each other, we also need to work on understanding and shaping treatment and care for the future", Alimusaj continues, as he underlines his desire to create a forward-thinking event with innovational strength.

Highlights of the congress are the daily, high-profile keynote lectures. The opening lecture will be given by Prof Kenton Kaufmann from W. Hall Wendel Jr. Musculoskeletal Center at the Mayo Clinic (USA) on the subject of "Generating stronger evidence in limb loss and preservation – the establishment of a US registry". He will be followed on the second day of the event by Prof Bertolt Meyer from the University of Technology in Chemnitz with a keynote on "Digitalisierung: Chancen und Risiken für Menschen mit Beeinträchtigungen“ (Digitalisation: Opportunities and Risks for People with Impairments).

In a tandem keynote, university professor Oskar C. Aszmann from the University Clinic for Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna will speak together with the physiotherapist Dr scient. med. Agnes Sturma on the subject of „TMR and Osseointegration“. The final session on the last day of the event will be a keynote by Prof Dr Ing. Sami Haddadin from the Technical University of Munich on the topic of "Intelligentes Steuern und Lernen in der Prothetik" (Intelligent Control and Learning in Prosthetics).

Branch-Policy Forum: Shaping the Future Together

How has the health industry changed? How can we shape the future of orthopaedic treatment and care in Germany, Europe and worldwide? Which innovations and new care concepts are being introduced into our shaken-up market and later hopefully to our patients? These and many more burning questions are on the agenda at the "Branch-Policy Forum" of the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology. In eight panel discussions, experts from politics, research, medicine and health insurance as well as social and industry associations will be talking about how to ensure the quality of orthopaedic treatment and care in Germany and worldwide. Examples of these panels are "Responsibly shaping the future: why is Germany struggling with the concepts of e-prescriptions and electronic patient records?" Or "Responsibilities of trade professionals: what are craftspeople doing to advance progress and innovation in the German health industry?" Or "Showing responsibility: does the international provision with medical aids and assistive devices know (no) boundaries?".

Digital Elements Strengthen Global Reach

Digital elements that were developed during the pandemic can complement a visit to Leipzig or offer an alternative for those not able to personally travel to the OTWorld. The extension of the International Trade Show and World Congress using digital elements means even the furthest corners of the world can be reached. This way, participants from developing countries and emerging economies can also benefit from the interdisciplinary and international exchange of knowledge and experiences.

With OTWorld Live, highlights from the programme can be streamed during the event free of charge via a personal user account. After OTWorld, this content is available in the media library for up to two months.

There is an app to go with the event. The app provides participants with all the relevant information for a visit to the fair such as the congress and trade show programme, the interactive site map and the Matchmaking tool. The latter is a new tool that enables you to connect with other participants based on your interests via chat and video call.

About OTWorld

OTWorld is the sector’s largest get-together and the world's most important meeting place for all manufacturers, distributors and service providers in the field of modern orthopaedic treatment and care. The International Trade Show and World Congress OTWorld is aimed at prosthetists and orthotists, orthopaedic footwear professionals, rehabilitation technicians as well as therapists, doctors, engineers and medical trade and insurance companies' employees with a unique range of products and services. The next OTWorld will take place from 10 to 13 May 2022 in Leipzig as an international on-site event with a supplementary digital programme.

The German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT) is OTWorld's conceptual partner. The owner of the OTWorld brand and organiser of the congress is Confairmed GmbH. The Leipziger Messe GmbH is responsible for the trade show.

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Nicole Wege
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