OTWorld.connect 2020: The world's biggest virtual industry congress attracted a high level of interest – 250 speakers from 20 countries/ congress accesses from over 82 countries
The digital OTWorld special edition, OTWorld.connect, took place from 27 - 29 October 2020. Through the employment of a range of interactive formats, the industry platform for prosthetics, orthotics, orthopaedic footwear technology, compression therapy and individual rehabilitation technology met the great need for an exchange within the industry.
OTWorld.connect isn't over. All lectures and product worlds will be available in the media library between 9 November to 31 January 2021. A discounted media library ticket will be introduced in November that will enable visitors to access the recorded events.
"Since March 2020, the pandemic situation has presented us with a number of big challenges. We were able to successfully rise to the occasion with OTWorld.connect. In particular, the encouraging number of participants and their high internationality confirmed the need to have an exchange in the industry. The digital presentation of skilled know-how was also a great success. As the Leipziger Messe, we are proud to have produced such a great digital event within a short space of time together with our long-term partner, the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT). We are now well equipped for the future. However, that being said, a purely virtual format can never replace an in-person event", stressed Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe.
"First off, as president, I would like to clearly state: As craftsmen – we're capable of going digital! This has been proven by the success of OTWorld.connect. Even when it may have felt somewhat surreal at times: We successfully orchestrated the largest world congress for technical orthopaedics with research & development, care practices, politics of the profession and an industry showcase for our industry. I am eternally grateful to the team at the Leipziger Messe for joining us in taking the courage to forge new paths and step out of our comfort zone. During these unusual times, this was the only way in which we were able to chart the course for our industry and send a strong, shared message to the world: To all national and international decision-makers, even during a pandemic, the healthcare industry consists of more than just intensive care beds. It's critical that inpatient, outpatient and at-home care with medical aids continues to function. Even if some things could run better and more effectively: The quality of this care must not take a back seat."
Modern Care Concepts and a Look Into the Future
Participants were provided with four virtual congress rooms for the virtual exchange as part of the World Congress and TAR Conference. Primarily through simultaneous German/English interpretation, the best care concepts were discussed across the disciplines. The sessions were well attended from day one – as was shown, for instance, at the symposium "The impact of emerging technologies in prosthetics and microsurgery on amputee care" chaired by Prof Frank Braatz (UMG University Medical Center Goettingen/PFH, Private University of Applied Sciences; 164 registered accesses).
The symposium "The short residual limb in the upper and lower extremities" chaired by Bernd Sibbel (The Federal Academy for Orthopaedic Technology BUFA e.V.) and Patrick Schröter (septic and reconstructive surgery, BG Hospital Bergmannstrost Halle) also attracted a high level of attention (163 registered accesses). The groundbreaking keynote speech from Prof Michael Goldfarb (Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, USA), a leading biomechatronics researcher, who allowed visitors to look around his research laboratory, was also met with a great response.
The symposium "Rehabilitation, Robotics and Orthotics" during the TAR Conference chaired by Univ.-Prof Dr rer. nat. Catherine Disselhorst-Klug (Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University) and Prof Dr-Ing. David Hochmann (FH Münster, Laboratory for Biomechatronics) reported 123 registered accesses.
Strong Interest in the Worlds of Products and Workshops
52 companies from over 15 countries booked an innovative showroom – a honeycomb-shaped digital product world swiftly developed by FAIRNET GmbH, a Leipziger Messe subsidiary, for OTWorld.connect. It features photos, information and videos on the latest products and services. Several companies also held video conferences in order to directly communicate with visitors. The honeycombs have been heavily used in recent days and clicked on over 20,000 times in total.
Furthermore, 45 companies, took the opportunity to provide free digital workshops. The manufacturers and service providers of the industry provided information directly from their company headquarters. Questions could be submitted through the chat feature during the workshops. The list of companies that took part reflects a wealth of top-class international expertise on the market: Aether Biomedical, ALPS, Bauerfeind, BionIT Labs, Blatchford, Breg, INAIL, medi, NOWECOR, Optica, ORLIMAN, RCM Naked Prosthetics, Streifeneder, Thuasne, Twikit and the VORUM Research Corporation – to name but a few.
OTworld.connect Isn't Over
The lectures and products worlds will be available online between 9 November and 31 January 2021. All full ticket holders can automatically use this service. A discounted media library ticket will be introduced in November that will enable day ticket holders and new participants to access the recorded events. The Innovation Showrooms, workshops and the sector-political forum will be available after quick registration until the end of January. Due to their high level of topicality, the sector-political forums will be available as of 2 November at https://connect.ot-world.com/de/lobby