The only way is app! MEDICA App COMPETITION 2019 launches

The only way is app! MEDICA App COMPETITION 2019 launches


MEDICA remains the hotspot for start-ups in the health sector



Held in Düsseldorf, the world’s leading medical trade fair, MEDICA, is also the world’s number 1 when it comes to start-ups in the health sector. Accordingly, several hundred start-ups will once again be among the more than 5,000 exhibitors that are bringing their innovations for inpatient and outpatient healthcare to MEDICA 2019 from 18 to 21 November. They can, for example, be found at the numerous international joint booths from countries such as Israel, France and Finland, among others. However, MEDICA also offers creative young companies special event formats to present their products and enter into target-oriented dialogues with potential business partners. Examples of these are the MEDICA START-UP PARK, the daily MEDICA DISRUPT pitches at the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM as well as the MEDICA App COMPETITION and the INNOVATION WORLD CUP (all in Hall 13).

The schedule for the first two days of the trade fair includes the final rounds of the MEDICA App COMPETITION and the INNOVATION WORLD CUP (in the Healthcare category). 

On Tuesday, 19 November, the developer teams will present the best international healthcare app solutions at the pitch of the eighth MEDICA App COMPETITION (MAC), which will take place in Hall 13. The prizes will be awarded on the same day. Entrants can apply until 18 September. The competition aims to drive the development of innovations to ensure these enter the daily use of patients, doctors and hospitals. The MEDICA App COMPETITION jury rates entries according to the following criteria: Degree of innovation, commercial potential, technological feasibility, marketing approach, time required until launch, required investments. 

The most important MAC award for all finalists is undoubtedly the global awareness that MEDICA provides with its international professional visitors from around 170 countries. In addition, this year’s first place winner will be honoured with EUR 2,000, the second place will be awarded EUR 1,000 and the third place will receive EUR 500. Information on the competition and how to register is available online at


A creative idea becomes practical reality 

Taking a look at FibriCheck, last year’s winner, provides an impression of potential topics. The Belgian winning app has already been recognised by the FDA, the regulatory authority in the USA. The app recognises various cardiac arrhythmias with a smartphone camera and creates a report for both doctor and patient. However, contestants are not required to comply with the Medical Device Directive or have FDA Approval to enter the MAC. 

Incidentally, FibriCheck is among the first start-ups funded by the Digital Health Accelerator programme, initiated by Roche. The company is one of the partners of this year’s MEDICA App COMPETITION, as are Bayer G4A. In 2013, Bayer G4A launched their first accelerator programme for digital health initiatives. Since then, their requirements for start-ups have become stricter, with longer-term cooperations and financing opportunities offered in return. The start-ups receive a lump sum payment of the initial start-up funding. Once they reach certain milestones, the young companies can claim further payments. Since its launch, Bayer G4A has funded more than 149 teams of founders with its start-up programme, resulting in 29 concrete cooperations. 

Kaia, a back training app, is a good example of how apps that are presented at MAC are not just good ideas in theory, but also stand up to daily, practical use. The app came third in the 2017 MAC. Today, German health insurance company Barmer offers their customers a free, one-year trial. After that period, users can decide whether they would like to pay to continue to use the app for multidisciplinary back pain therapy in accordance with the relevant guidelines and without being forced to subscribe.