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MEDLAB: Uniting the laboratory and clinical pathways

Article-MEDLAB: Uniting the laboratory and clinical pathways

Medlab trading floor
The successful 2nd standalone edition of MEDLAB Exhibition & Congress raises the standard of healthcare practice and service delivery in the Middle East region

The 17th edition of the MEDLAB Middle East Exhibition and Congress, the world’s largest medical laboratory event, has successfully celebrated its second consecutive year as a standalone event at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Previously running as part of the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, the four-day MEDLAB Middle East forum, which welcomed over 700 exhibitors and more than 25,000 attendees from over 130 countries, took place from 5-8 February 2018 and was officially inaugurated by His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority.

Speaking at the opening, H.E. Humaid Al Qatami said, "MEDLAB Middle East is an important opportunity to learn about the best equipment and modern technologies in the field of medical laboratories, which is a major part of the healthcare system. The exhibition is also a scientific platform for the exchange of the successful international experiences and developments related to research and laboratory studies. The Dubai Health Authority pays attention to this, and expresses its interest to all developments aimed at upgrading services - diagnostic and therapeutic.”

According to a market report by Mordor Intelligence, the global In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) market was estimated at USD 74.69 billion in 2016 and is forecast to reach USD 96.93 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 5.35% during the forecast period. While the US (contributing to around 31% of the global IVD market) and Europe currently dominate the market owing to their increasing healthcare expenditure and improved clinical laboratory infrastructure, they estimate that there could be a rise in the IVD market share from the emerging economies as well, as diagnostic companies are focusing on capitalising on the untapped markets in the medical sector.

The Industry Convenes

This year, the MEDLAB Middle East exhibition focused on innovations in laboratory solutions and on the exploration of new business opportunities in the global medical laboratory and IVD fields. Visitors had the opportunity to source products and services from over 700 national and international companies featuring the latest innovations from over 40 countries and 12 country pavilions including France, Germany, the UK, the US, Egypt and China. The popular Dealers & Distributors Wall & Lounge enabled attendees to source the latest products from more than 200 medical laboratory product categories.

MEDLAB Middle East also provided leading global and regional healthcare companies such as Abbott, Siemens Healthineers, Snibe Diagnostics, and Beckman Coulter, with a platform to engage with their clients and partners, particularly those from the Middle East.

As the medical laboratory industry continues to evolve, one of the big trends today is precision medicine. Siemens Healthineers, titanium sponsors of MEDLAB Middle East were on the exhibition floor to connect with customers and discuss how they are using innovation and acquisition to address the needs of the market.

“MEDLAB is by far the biggest show in the region and it is also one of the top shows for laboratory diagnostics in the world. So, for Siemens Healthineers, it is very important to be present here to meet our customers and business partners in one great location,” said Romain Fournials, Vice-President – Laboratory Diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers. “This year it is all about the new Atellica family, particularly the Atellica COAG 360 system – a fully automated high-volume coagulation system that unifies five testing methodologies.”

Meanwhile, Al Hayat Pharmaceuticals were showcasing their latest product lines in the market. “We are pleased to be back at MEDLAB Middle East as we were one of the first companies to exhibit at the show when it first launched,” said Anwar A. Abu Eida, who is the sales manager for Al Hayat Pharmaceuticals. “The show has now become more than just a regional show and we are proud to be part of the global MEDLAB series. It is a great opportunity for our principals to meet face-to-face with our customers from all corners of the globe.”

According to Koji Dohi, who is the marketing manager for IVD products at Fujifilm Corporation: “MEDLAB is a great platform for us to communicate with potential customers from across the MENA region and we are here to introduce our 9th generation dry chemistry analyser – the DRI-CHEM NX700, our high-end specification machine to our regional audience.”

Also, as Dhiren Wangle, Director, Erba Mannheim, explained: “We see a lot of our customers from as far as Asia converging at MEDLAB in Dubai. It is great event for us to launch new products into the market as well as an opportunity for us to discover what is happening in the industry. We are here to talk about the launch of three new products to the market - our new fully automated urine chemistry analyser, a new coagulation analyser and a five-part haematology analyser. We are really excited to see the response from the market.”

Problem Solving Through Collaboration

The educational agenda at MEDLAB Middle East was once again extremely well received by more than 6,500 delegates who were able to participate in raising the standard of practice in medical laboratories and in the development of better service for patients across the region. Featuring 17 CME-accredited conference tracks, including five new clinical tracks designed to enhance collaboration between laboratory professionals and clinicians, the MEDLAB Congress was the ideal platform to discover innovations in medical laboratory testing.

“The introduction of clinical tracks alongside the laboratory-focused conferences will aid in accurate interpretation, quick reporting and diagnosis, therefore strengthening the laboratory’s ability to provide clinical decisions and improve the overall quality of service and care in the region,” said Tom Coleman, Group Exhibition Director, MEDLAB Series. “The tracks that we focused on for 2018 were oncology, obs-gyne, endocrinology, cardiology, as well as antibiotic use and misuse.”

At the congress, leading medical practitioners discussed the increasingly important role that clinical laboratory professionals play in today’s healthcare system, from early detection and diagnosis to customised treatment plans based on the patient’s unique genetic structure.

The Laboratory Management conference centred around understanding the collaboration of administrative and medical leadership and the dynamics of quality management and safety improvement in a medical laboratory of any size, scope, or speciality. Meanwhile, the Histopathology conference provided a comprehensive review of the latest histopathological, cytological and related technical advances, and featured a discussion to exchange views regarding the latest research on cell biology using molecular tools and genomic data. Other laboratory conference tracks at MEDLAB Middle East included Molecular Diagnostics, diabetes testing and management, haematology, laboratory informatics, Point of Care Testing, tumour markers, clinical chemistry, blood transfusion medicine and cardiac markers.

A much-awaited educational forum at MEDLAB was the Heads of Labs Masterclass, which took the approach of problem solving through collaboration. As Coleman explained: “This masterclass offered an immensely valuable discussion on clinical laboratory management challenges and questions that arise in the everyday operation of the clinical lab. Focusing on practical solutions to the most common, but not necessarily easy-to-solve, problems encountered both in public and private laboratories, this forum was successful at strengthening collaboration and cooperation amongst regional leaders in the lab to improve patient services.”

Spotlight on Women’s Heath

Previously running as a standalone event, the 10th edition of the Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress was co-located with MEDLAB Middle East for the first time to further educate women's health physicians of the importance of routine laboratory investigations frequently ordered, and to enhance the unity amongst obstetricians, gynecologists and laboratorians in the region.

The show provided a platform for over 2,500 women’s health specialists to gather alongside more than 60 of the industry's leading manufacturers, and exchange knowledge, share best practice and, ultimately, improve the level of patient care provided. Featuring four plenary tracks – General Obs-Gyne, Gyne-Oncology, Maternal and Fetal Medicine, and Infertility – the congress introduced an international perspective and relevant regional expertise on women’s health issues prevalent worldwide.

MEDLAB Goes Global

Since its launch in Dubai in 2002, MEDLAB has established itself as one of the largest laboratory events in the world. The MEDLAB Series, now with a portfolio of seven annual trade shows across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa, bolsters the impact of laboratory medicine on patient outcomes by focusing on bridging the gap between lab professionals and doctors.

“With 15 years of growth and development, MEDLAB is a proven exhibition model on an international scale,” said Coleman. “MEDLAB continues to give visitors from across the world an opportunity to access cutting-edge laboratory products, next-generation technology, innovative services and world-class educational content.”

Now in its fifth year, the MEDLAB Asia Pacific Exhibition & Congress will be returning to Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre in Singapore on 2–4 April 2018. MEDLAB Asia Pacific will provide a platform for leading companies to showcase current technologies and clever innovations in the field of laboratory and diagnostics.

Meanwhile, the second edition of MEDLAB North Africa - the region’s only dedicated laboratory exhibition – will take place alongside the Mediconex Exhibition & Congress from 14-16 April 2018 at the Cairo International Convention Center in Cairo, Egypt.

In the US, thousands of medical laboratory industry experts and equipment suppliers from across Northern and Latin America will be converging on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, from 17-19 July 2018 for the second annual MEDLAB Americas Exhibition & Congress. MEDLAB Americas exists as part of the 28th edition of The Florida International Medical Expo (FIME) and provides first-class networking opportunities for laboratory experts, scientists, researchers and clinicians as well as featuring cutting-edge lab products and services from leading international medical equipment and device companies. 

A recent addition to the MEDLAB Series portfolio is the European edition in Barcelona, Spain. With the European In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) market expected to reach USD 15.5 billion by 2024, a platform such as MEDLAB presents a huge opportunity for global laboratory industry leaders, including manufacturers, dealers and distributors, to make inroads into the European market. Taking place at the Fira Barcelona-Gran Via in Barcelona from 24 October 2018, more than 3,000 industry professionals and +120 exhibiting companies are expected to attend the 2nd edition of Europe’s leading event for laboratory management and diagnosis.

According to Coleman: “The launch of MEDLAB Europe was in line with our global expansion strategy for our MEDLAB series of events. MEDLAB Europe will generate substantial value for our customers and partners by driving further product innovation and deeper engagement in these specific markets.”

Elsewhere in Africa, the MEDLAB Series has a strong presence with two annual shows. MEDLAB East Africa will take place from 25-27 September 2018 at the Visa Oshwal Centre Westlands in Nairobi, Kenya while MEDLAB West Africa is set to welcome thousands of medical laboratory professionals to the Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria from 10-12 October 2018.

MEDLAB All Year Round!, Informa’s global medical directory, formed an important part of MEDLAB Middle East 2018 as attendees are now able to stay connected with exhibitors and browse products and services before, during and after the show. Year-round access to the portal enables visitors to source information on companies exhibiting at Informa Life Sciences’ shows as well as interact with and explore products beyond the show floor, whenever and wherever it is needed.

“We have an average of 1,000 products currently going live on the website every week. With over 4 million page views and more than 200,000 users, Omnia’s ability to transform an annual event into a 365-day exhibition experience has been validated beyond doubt,” said Joseph Chackola, Publications Director, Informa Life Sciences, Dubai, UAE.

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