The COMPAMED Innovation Forum on July 10 at the Helios Klinikum in Krefeld 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 users of the end products.
Medical devices must be designed for the real needs of doctors and nurses
Not sufficiently compact, not flexible enough, too valuable, not sensibly integrated into the operating procedures on the wards – the list of users' shortcomings with regard to medical technology products seems long. The first introductory discussion already showed that high-tech medical devices are far too often not developed in line with the real needs of specialist personnel.
Franziska Niederschelp from Helios Klinikum presented the digitization measures and progress within the Helios Group. Language assistance for doctor's letters and file management will be of particular importance in the future. The automated bundling and digital merging of patient data from medical devices, laboratories and the ward is another focus point.
Dr. Jens Ebnet, anesthetist and intensive and emergency medic, sensitized for the special requirements that medical technology faces in acute situations. Since there can be risks in terms of acceptance, also due to conflicts of conscience, it is necessary to include specialist medics sufficiently in the development of automated, data-processing medical devices. Using the example of his own development "Swordcath", an intuitive system for blood catheterization, he also criticized regulatory hurdles and a lack of political support for SMEs.
Maren Geissler from the Helios Center for Research and Innovation in Wuppertal presented the fact that there are quite some 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 has developed an optical method to reliably control blood pressure. The application is possible by means of the light of smartphone camera via app. Eike Kottkamp from InnoME explained the advantages of disposable sensor products: in applications where measurements do not have to be made in the high-precision range, disposable sensors can be attractive alternatives to complex and expensive sterilization processes and open up new fields of application, for example under wound dressings. Dr. Dirk Janasek from ISAS.e.V. presented an innovative procedure for a reliable test for hemophilia. Michael Görtz from Fraunhofer IMS explained how sensor implants are able to continuously monitor blood pressure, intraocular pressure, intracranial 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, by means of a rapid test and thus make a prompt therapy measure possible for the patient.
Constant communication between users and manufacturers is essential
Another major aspect was the presentation and discussion of further developments of already marketable and – also in Krefeld – already successfully applied 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 dosages for stationary patients, an infrared-based system for discrete room monitoring with regard to patients at risk of falling, innovative round trolleys for hospital staff and robotics systems for supporting paraplegics, but also nursing staff carrying heavy loads.
The lively and productive discussions between the presentations and at the end emphasized the enormous need for communication between users and manufacturers.