LINAK Australia ’s Technical Manager, Carsten Andersen, recently flew to Germany to attend a Hospital and Care exhibition, MEDICA 2008. Here are a few observations from his visit.

Any first time visitor to MEDICA in Germany would certainly have found the sheer size of the exhibition daunting with 18, halls each about half the size of the Melbourne Exhibition building. Every medical product range was covered, ranging from cotton swabs through to surgical instruments up to complete surgery fit-outs.

The exhibition was well organised right from getting there by taxi, bus or train to ticketing, food outlets and finding the way around the halls. Similar exhibitors were clustered in the same areas/halls, so targeting a specific interest group was fairly easy.

Of particular interest to Andersen was seeing the trends in bed designs and features being offered. Some of the European bed manufacturers were exhibiting their products in large, and in some cases quite elaborate stands, where the public were lured to view the products on offer through various types of floor shows. Other manufacturers had smaller stands, where the focus was entirely on the exhibited products.

Most of the larger bed manufacturers exhibited one or more versions of column beds (BL1 or BL4 types). European made beds seem well designed with a focus on aesthetics, ergonomics and the use of the latest technology available such as columns, multiple controls (handsets/cot side controls/attendant controls) with a number of predefined bed positions for patient/caregiver comfort, removable panels, weighing scale integration and innovation in mattress design to name a few.

The theme on the LINAK Australia’s stand was based around their new OPENBUS range of products and this was evident by a large replica of an open top double decker London bus on the stand. The layout of the stand was designed to invite visitors to take the OPENBUS tour and to stop at each application/display where a STOP sign displayed the information and technical details about the products exhibited.

A demo bed displayed the OPENBUS actuators, control boxes, controls and accessories, such as Clean Me, Check Me and Service Monitor. Another demo bed showed LINAK Australia’s new TWINDRIVE Care (TDC). A couple of demo patient lifters displayed their new 1200N LA44 actuator as well as Jumbo Care control boxes and controls with Service Data Tool read out.

A special display wall was dedicated to a new 5th drive wheel concept developed together with Tente. LINAK Australia’s stand was well positioned and laid out and appeared to attract a lot of attention. Visitors were treated to a bite to eat and a drink from staff.