Improving the digitized hospital environment through sensors

The COMPAMED Innovation Forum in Germany focused on high-tech solutions for hospitals and brought together the manufacturers and developers of technology solutions into dialogue with the products’ end-users.

High-tech medical technology must be designed for the real needs of specialist personnel

The COMPAMED Innovation Forum at the Helios Klinikum in Krefeld, Germany, focused on high-tech solutions for hospitals. Under a new concept, this year's forum brought the manufacturers and developers of technical solutions directly into dialogue with the products’ end-users.

Not sufficiently compact, not flexible enough, too expensive, not properly integrated into the operating procedures in the wards - the list of users' shortcomings with regard to medical technology products seems long. High-tech medical technology, in particular, is far too often singled out for being out of line from the real needs of specialist personnel.

Franziska Niederschelp from the Germany-based Helios Klinikum presented the digitization measures and progress within the Helios Group. The topic of language assistance for physicians’ records and file management will be of particular importance in the future. Another focus is on patient data from medical devices, laboratories, and the ward, which must be automatically bundled and digitally merged.

Dr. Jens Ebnet, an anesthetist, intensive care, and emergency physician, sensitized patients to the special requirements that medical technology faces in acute situations. Since risks can arise with regard to technology acceptance, also due to conflicts of conscience, it is necessary to sufficiently involve specialists in the development of automated, data-processing medical devices. Using the example of his specially developed "Swordcath", an intuitive system for blood catheterization, he also criticized regulatory hurdles and a lack of political support for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Maren Geissler from the Helios Center for Research and Innovation in Wuppertal, Germany, explained how at present there are opportunities to support and financially promote innovative concepts and ideas.

Sensors enable applications for improved patient care

The second session focused on technologies that can offer innovative possibilities for applications in diagnosis and therapy. CSEM from Switzerland (also known as the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology) has developed an optical method to reliably control blood pressure. The application uses the camera light of a commercial smartphone through an app. Eike Kottkamp from InnoME explained the advantages of disposable sensor products: In applications where high-precision measurements are not required, disposable sensors can be attractive alternatives to complex and expensive sterilization processes and open up new fields of application, for example, wound dressings.

Dr. Dirk Janasek from ISAS.e.V. (also known as the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences) presented an innovative procedure for a reliable test for hemophilia. Michael Görtz from Fraunhofer IMS (Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems) explained how sensor implants are able to continuously monitor blood pressure, intraocular pressure, cerebral pressure and support therapeutic measures. Dr. Heike Kreher from Micronit explained, among other things, how a microfluidic chip can determine a subtype of leukemia, for example, using a rapid test, and make it possible for patients to take prompt therapeutic measures.

Regular communication between users and manufacturers is essential

Another major aspect was the presentation and discussion of further developments of already marketable and successfully used products. The range includes smart home emergency call systems from easier Life GmbH, the WLAN connection of medical devices, an in-house logistics system for the automatic preparation of medicine doses for in-patients, an infrared-based system for discrete room monitoring with regard to patients at risk of falling, innovative round trolleys for hospital staff and robotic systems for supporting paraplegics, but also nursing staff carrying heavy loads.

IVAM Microtechnology Network (IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik)