Last week were at DMEA in Berlin. DMEA (formerly ConhIT) is the largest conference for connected eHealth in Europe. attended as part of the Berlin Partner stand.

DMEA is the new name for ConhIT, which has been held annually for the past decade. DMEA is the leading event for digital health in Europe. The conference was held over 3 days at Berlin’s enormous Messe complex. attended the event as part of the Berlin-Brandenburg Partner stand.

DMEA in facts and figures

DMEA is definitely a big event. This year, it attracted over 10,800 visitors (up from 10,000 at ConhIT 2018). There were 570 exhibitors from countries all over the world (about the same as last year) and 350 speakers gave presentations at the Congress.

All figures from DMEA website

As well as the Congress, each of the main exhibition halls included a hub. These were used for more interactive themed sessions. These sessions made a nice change from the typical didactic presentations that are the bread and butter of conferences. They ranged from a pitching session by early-stage eHealth startups from across the globe to discussions on how to break into the German healthcare IT market. This latter was especially interesting as it included case studies from two companies who have successfully entered the market with the help of Germany Trade and Invest.

Yes minister

DMEA was attended by a number of important politicians and civil servants. These included Jens Spahn, the Federal Minister of Health, Dorothee Bar, the Federal Chancellery’s State Minister for Digital Affairs and Dr Gottfried Ludewig, head of the Digitalisation Department at the Federal Ministry of Health.

New law on Digitalisation

During a live debate, Dr Ludewig made an important announcement regarding an upcoming law on digitalisation, due in the next few months. However, he highlighted that digitalisation is critical, and should be included in every law.

“We want digitalisation to make concrete improvements to the healthcare system for individual patients by taking small, agile steps“

This sentiment was echoed by Jens Spahn, who gave the opening talk and visited several of the exhibitions.

“We must engage with the digital transformation. The alternative is not whether it will or will not happen but whether we will shape it or be dictated by it.”
Jens Spahn

At her keynote speech, Dorothee Bär also highlighted the need for faster progress in eHealth. Germans need to be courageous about adopting new technology in healthcare. A key part of that is data protection.

“We have already talked so much. I would like to see more things being put into practice.”

See you next year!

DMEA promises to grow rapidly and the new broader focus on digital healthcare means it now has a far wider audience than ConhIT. We are already looking forward to next year’s event (21-23 April 2020). Hopefully, we might see you there too?