Two years of corona pandemic – almost three months of Ukraine war, shortage of skilled workers and war-disabled care – in parallel, there is a threat of performance cuts in the health care system: OTWorld is dedicated to the world’s leading trade fair and world congress from 10th to 13th. May of the supply of the weakest members of society with aids. Because only the tailor-made and professional supply of aids such as bandages, insoles, orthoses, prostheses or wheelchairs ensures the preservation or restoration of the mobility, independence and zest for life of the affected people.


Under the motto “Welcome back – Welcome back”, OTWorld returns to Leipzig after a four-year corona-related break. The global industry for modern aid supply is finally meeting again in person in the trade fair city of Leipzig for professional exchange. Numerous visitors from over 70 countries have already registered for OTWorld with 440 exhibitors from 36 countries and more than 300 international speakers. Prominent ambassadors from the world of sport such as Dirk Nowitzki, Fabian Hambüchen and the Paralympic stars Léon Schäfer and Johannes Floors have also announced themselves. At least in thought: Federal Minister of Health Prof. Karl Lauterbach, who with a digital greeting the OTWorld on the 10th. May at 4:45 p.m. in Hall 1 of Hall 3.


“Auxiliary supply does not go out of the home office,” explains Alf Reuter, President of the Federal Guild Association for Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT), ideal carrier of OTWorld. Orthopedic technicians and shoe technicians have had to care for the last two years under the most difficult conditions. The corona pandemic is not yet history. The next crisis is already on the rise with supply bottlenecks, dramatically rising raw material/energy prices and a war in Europe with an increased number of people to be supplied. “We must be aware that we are responsible together with payers and prescribers. If we do not do this, there will be dramatic undersupply and misalities. The quality of care must not be saved,” continues Alf Reuter. This makes it all the more important to be able to personally discuss the state of the art with its possibilities and limits in Germany, Europe and worldwide. “I am particularly pleased about the recognition of our performance in the industry by the Federal Government in the form of tomorrow’s virtual opening by the Federal Minister of Health Prof. Karl Dr. Lauterbach and the exchange with other responsible persons from politics and payers who personally stop by for OTWorld.”


Innovations from cradle to stretcher


From the cradle to the stretcher, the supply of aids accompanies people. The range of innovations and supply concepts of the 440 exhibitors from 36 countries presented at the globally leading industry meeting in three exhibition halls is correspondingly wide-ranging. It ranges from high-tech prosthetics and aesthetics to insoles and 3D printing to lymphatic care, whether for children, war-disabled or multi-morbid patients.


“The joy of the personal reunion is very great for everyone involved after four years of pandemic-related break,” says Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe. “We expect exhibitors from 36 countries who will present their innovations at the world’s unique industry meeting place for modern aid supply. Market leaders such as start-ups use OTWorld as an innovation and dialogue platform to jointly set new standards for the supply of aids to people.”


New this year is the presentation of the offers in care areas such as mobility restrictions, diabetes and vascular diseases, osteoarthritis and wear diseases, stroke, sports prophylaxis and accident injuries, back, movement disorders and paralysis, cancer and prevention. Visitors should be able to find out about solutions even more easily at the international trade fair.


With the three new care worlds cerebral palsy, insoles and lymphatic diseases, the presented topics are brought even more into focus by showing and explaining the professional and evidence-based aid supply from A to Z. In tours, the special shows can be explored, registration in advance is not necessary.


OTWorld offers another innovation, the start-up zone in Hall 3. A total of 15 start-ups from 13 countries present their solutions and concepts to an international audience on the sold-out start-up zone. Numerous exhibitor workshops, digital innovation talks and the Digitalization Forum complete the offer for visitors.


World Congress offers a variety of inspiration


More than 300 international experts travel to Leipzig for the World Congress to provide insights into the latest scientific findings and international care options in German and English: from sports orthopedics to pediatric orthopedics, from basic research to digitization. Under the patronage of the two congress presidents Prof. Martin Engelhardt, Chief Physician of the Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery/Medical Director of the Osnabrück Hospital, and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Merkur Alimusaj, Head of Technical Orthopedics at Heidelberg University Hospital, has created a wide-ranging congress program in the last two years. Together with the program committee, they developed keynote lectures, symposia, specialist workshops, courses and workshop discussions. As part of the new “Interdisciplinary Lighthouses”, supply teams from the Netherlands and the USA present concepts for the care of diabetic foot syndrome or leg prosthetics.


“High-class speakers from all over the world offer an exciting and broad program bundled over four days. Whether craftsmen, doctors in everyday care or engineers in basic research – there is something for everyone. The congress offers space to exchange ideas in your own subject or interdisciplinary, says Prof. Dr. Martin Engelhardt. The sports physician sets accents in the program with the care of athletes in competitive and popular sports. “The topics of sports orthopedics and disabled sports are a personal concern for me and will be examined in more detail in the congress in various formats.”


For Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Merkur Alimusaj, the topic of cooperation comes first: “With the congress, we want to intensify the interdisciplinary cooperation of orthopedic technicians, doctors and therapists across national borders. The mix of crafts and research in the program is the foundation for forward-looking synergies. We must not only strengthen our knowledge in care today and further expand it in joint exchange, but also understand and (co-)develop how care must be tomorrow,” Alimusaj continues to underpin the claim to innovative strength and future orientation of the event.


Highlights in the congress are the daily, top-class keynote lectures. The start is given by Prof. Kenton Kaufman from W. Hall Wendel Jr. Musculoskeletal Center at the Mayo Clinic (USA) with his lecture “Evidence for amputations and limb preservation – the establishment of a register in the USA”. He is followed by Prof. Bertolt Meyer from Chemnitz University of Technology with the keynote “Digitization: Opportunities and risks for people with disabilities”.


In a tandem keynote, Univ.-Prof. Oscar C. Aszmann, from the University Hospital for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna, and the physiotherapist Dr. scient. med. Agnes Sturma on the topic of TMR and Osseointegration. The conclusion on the last day of the event is the keynote by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, from the Technical University of Munich on the topic of intelligent controlling and learning in prosthetics.


Industry policy forum: Shaping the future together


How has the health care system changed? How can we shape the future of aid supply in Germany, Europe and the world? Which innovations and new care concepts are coming to the shaken market and hopefully to the patients later? These and many other burning questions are on the agenda of the “Industry Policy Forum” of the Federal Guild Association for Orthopaedic Technology. In eight rounds of discussions, experts from politics, science, medicine, health insurance companies as well as social and industry associations exchange information about quality-assured aid supply in Germany and worldwide. For example, it is discussed “Shaping the future with responsibility: Why is Germany having such a hard time with the e-prescription and the electronic medical record?” or “Healthcare professions in responsibility: How does the craft industry drive progress and innovation in the German health care system?” or “Showing responsibility: Does the international provision with medical aids and assistive devices know (no) boundaries?”


Digital elements enhance global appeal


Digital elements developed during the pandemic period expand the on-site visit or offer an alternative if personal participation in Leipzig is not possible. The extension of the international trade fair and the World Congress with digital elements enables a reach to the most distant corners. In this way, participants from developing and emerging countries can also benefit from the interdisciplinary as well as international exchange of knowledge and experience.


With the OTWorld Live offer, highlights from the program can be streamed free of charge during the event via your own user account. After OTWorld, the content will then be available in the media library for up to two months.


The event is accompanied by an app. There, participants will find all the important information for the visit on site such as the product and exhibitor world, the congress and trade fair program, the interactive hall plan and matchmaking. As a new tool, the latter enables interest-based linking as well as exchange with other participants via chat and video call.


About OTWorld


OTWorld is the largest and internationally leading industry meeting place for all manufacturers, dealers and service providers in modern aid supply. The International Trade Fair and the World Congress OTWorld address orthopaedic technicians, orthopaedic shoemakers, rehabilitation technicians, therapists and doctors, engineers, medical retailers and payers employees with a unique offer. The next OTWorld will take place from the 10th to the 13th. May 2022 as an international on-site event with complementary digital offers in Leipzig.


The ideal sponsor of OTWorld is the Federal Guild Association for Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT). The owner of the OTWorld brand and organizer of the congress is Confairmed GmbH. Leipziger Messe GmbH is responsible for the trade fair.


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