Older Interviews -- MEDICA Trade Fair

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: Computer keyboard where one key has been replaced by the CE symbol with the flag of the EU; Copyright: panthermedia.net/NiroDesign

When is a medical device considered to be a medical device? – Certification, norms, and standards

01/12/2017

To ensure product quality and patient safety, medical devices must meet specific requirements outlined in the Medical Devices Act and specified EU directives. Yet which norms and standards must actually be met and how is this verified?
Read more
Image: A hand touches a smartphone camera that is measuring the heart rate with an app; Copyright: Preventicus GmbH

"Preventicus Heartbeats": An app that's a clinically validated medical device

01/12/2017

Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world. Yet many incidences of stroke are preventable since they are frequently associated with an undetected abnormal heart rhythm. In this case, patients can benefit from using the clinically validated "Preventicus Heartbeats" app, which measures and documents the heart rhythm with a smartphone camera.
Read more
Image: forearm bone which is scanned in the ultrasound hand scanner; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT

Using ultrasound for verification: proof of legal age via handheld scanner

22/11/2017

Human trafficking is a global crime that often preys on underage persons and forces them into prostitution and forced labor. In most cases, people are smuggled across borders with fake passports. Scientists at the Fraunhofer IBMT have now developed a non-invasive, handheld smartphone-compatible scanner that uses ultrasound to determine whether a person has reached full legal age.
Read more
Image: Man who is blowing into a smartphone adapter for breath tests; Copyright: THM/Gross/Sohrabi

AST@home: A rapid respiratory test for COPD using the smartphone

02/10/2017

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease often requires a detailed documentation of the course. As part of the AST@home project, Professor Keywan Sohrabi and Professor Volker Groß at the THM developed an app that enables the monitoring of the course of COPD via smartphone and includes family members or nursing staff.
Read more
Image: Doctor is holding a patient's hand; Copyright: panthermedia.net/luckybusiness

"If silence is dangerous" – International Patient Safety Day 2017

15/09/2017

In this year, the 3rd International Patient Safety Day takes place under the topic „If silence is dangerous“. On Sunday, 17th September 2017, and during the following week, all interested stakeholders in the health care system can inform themselves about the subject of patient safety and discuss it with others.
Read more
Image: blood is taken from a finger and analysed by a blood testing device; Copyright:hes_so_valais_wallis

Without any delay: drug dose adjustment at the point of care

01/08/2017

Many therapeutic drugs are very powerful, but they are also very toxic at the same time. Thus, they have to be measured regularly, again and again, so that an adjustment of the individual drug dosage can be made. Until now, the "normal" way was to take the blood sample, send it to a central laboratory and get the results after some days. A new point-of-care test can measure it in 15 minutes.
Read more
Image: An eye surgeon and an assistant are treating a patient with a surgical laser; Copyright: University Hospital Dresden/Felix Koopmann

Eye surgery: precision and prevention with femtosecond lasers

03/07/2017

Precision work is absolutely essential in eye surgery since the surgical site is very minute and sensitive. This is why eye surgeons have been using lasers for years. Femtosecond lasers are especially well suited to serve this purpose because they are able to cut tissue with great precision and little energy, which prevents unwanted side effects of surgery.
Read more
Image: Single room with a window in a hospital; Copyright: panthermedia.net/epstock

Hospital construction: infection prevention through architecture?

09/01/2017

Hospitals apply many infection prevention and control measures. They all have one thing in common: they are individual parts of an overall concept that is aimed at preventing the spread of highly infectious and resistant pathogens in hospitals. Nevertheless, previous hygiene concepts ignore one aspect of hospitals: the architecture of the actual hospital facility itself.
Read more
Image: Drawing of a human body, written down are risks for diabetics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/marigranula

Heart attacks in diabetics – a special danger

01/12/2016

Diabetics are not only schooled in getting a handle on their blood glucose levels, but also in looking out for possible complications. One complication of diabetes is nerve damage. It is often responsible for the so-called "diabetic foot". Something many people are not aware of is that the heart can also be put at risk by nerve damage.
Read more
Image: Blurred image of hospital employees who run along a corridor; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SimpleFoto

Medical emergency management in hospitals: there is a need for action

08/11/2016

Emergency situations do not just occur outside the hospital - life-threatening situations can also take place in patient rooms. Aside from the intensive care units, this also pertains to general hospital wards, where patients are not as closely monitored. Nursing staffs need to pay special attention in this case because emergencies sometimes announce themselves with certain symptoms.
Read more
Image: Hand of a person in the hospital bed, next to the call button; Copyright: panthermedia.net/bignai

Being safe: electronic call systems for hospitals

02/11/2016

Call systems: every hospital patient is familiar with them, but hardly anyone gives any thought to how they work. And yet they fulfill an important function because in an emergency, they "call" for help. Just think what might happen if they didn’t work. That is why they are subject to stringent safety regulations. We spoke with D.Eng. Matthias Rychetsky, who is familiar with call systems.
Read more
Image: In the middle of a computer window is written in big white letters Diabetes. A hand is tapping onto the word; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Pichet Wissawapipat

Telediabetology: Telemedicine to fight diabetes

02/11/2016

World Diabetes Day is on November 14 of this year. This is reason enough to get informed about the options available in medicine on the subject of "diabetes". One area is telediabetology, a combination of telemedicine and diabetology. It is still not widespread in Germany, but that is about to change because the benefits for patients, physicians and hospitals are obvious.
Read more
Image: Doctor with Laptop, on which screen viruses are visible; Copyright: panthermedia.net/cuteimage

Infection prevention with networked devices

02/11/2016

It is possible to save resources in a hospital by using networked devices – processes work more properly and more quickly this way. But there is also a certain amount of risk: If a device is infected with malware, the infection will spread very fast. Therefore, it is important to protect the networked devices and especially the sensitive patient data.
Read more
Image: A 3D stick figure creates a mind map about

A new broom sweeps clean? The new EU Medical Device Regulation

10/10/2016

The year 2016 brings about the new, eagerly anticipated Medical Device Regulation (MDR). The revision needs to now be implemented by all EU member states in the coming years after there have been ongoing deliberations and negotiations since October 2012.
Read more
Image: Graphic of a head within a computer network - many lines and bright colors; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andrew Ostrovsky

My Avatar and Me – the digitization of healthcare records

04/10/2016

So far, avatars could only be found in computer games. But if researchers of the EU-wide www.myhealthavatar.eu project have their way, this could soon change.
Read more
Image: Different medical symbols are seen like on a screen. A hand wearing a white glove taps on a symbol; Copyright: panthermedia.net/everythingposs

Networked healthcare – Apps and co.

04/10/2016

Digitization is on the rise and doesn't even stop with medicine. A video doctor consultation, a fitness app or a collection of data for a better cancer treatment: eHealth combines the possibilities of the internet with the demands of medicine and opens up entirely new possibilities for the medical industry.
Read more
Image: Hybrid OR; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Hybrid Operating Room: The OR of the Future Today?

01/09/2016

Patients take center stage during surgery. Their treatment should be as gentle and effective as possible, which is why there is a trend towards minimally invasive surgery (MIS). But minimal procedures require better supporting technologies. The hybrid operating room combines surgery and imaging systems and increasingly replaces conventional open surgery approaches with MIS.
Read more
Image: OR with modern equipment, large screens and lamps; Copyright: Erwin Keeve, Charité

OR of the future: technology benefits surgeons

01/09/2016

When it comes to the future of medicine, we often ponder how we would like to be treated. On the other hand, there is the issue of how physicians would like to treat their patients. The surgical procedures are determined by the technology that doctors are surrounded by. That’s why technology development also needs to be adapted to the needs of surgeons in the operating room of the future.
Read more
Image: Plugs at the back of a computer; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Paylessimages

Interoperability: secure network connections

08/07/2016

Computers do not just need a common language to communicate with each other. Their conversations also need to be secure when they transfer medical data for example. Yet there are still many different systems by various providers in the health care system that are not able to properly communicate with each other. The solution is called interoperability.
Read more
Photo: Carpenter works with a bench saw; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Marko Volkmar

Prevention: Digital tools for the digital workplace

01/07/2016

Added stress or relief? The digitization of the workplace is both since we can be better and more often reached and - at least in some areas - also be gradually replaced by a machine. But digital tools are also able to support us by measuring our body’s basic functions and warning us if we endanger our health.
Read more
Photo: Hospital  bed

Textiles used in hospitals and medical offices – germs don’t stand a chance

01/06/2016

Some hospitals have long banned the status symbol of physicians – the white coat. Research has shown that especially the sleeves were contaminated with various types of bacteria. But it’s not just lab coats that can spread germs in healthcare settings. This field uses a variety of different textiles. Wouldn’t it, therefore, make sense to apply antimicrobial finishes?
Read more
Photo: Devices and products patients need to treat their diabetes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ MihaPstock

Artificial pancreas: an (almost) automated diabetes treatment?

22/05/2016

The treatment for diabetes is very time-consuming for patients: they need to regularly monitor blood sugar levels, take medication and inject insulin. Poor self-management may result in a dangerous lapse in blood glucose levels. Yet external factors can also contribute to diabetes being out of control. An artificial pancreas system could offer relief.
Read more
Photo: Doctor at laptop

New E-Health Act: "Patients have control over their data"

08/05/2016

The "Act on secure digital communication and applications in the health care system" (the e-Health Act in short) took effect on December 29 last year. By the end of 2018, hospitals and medical practices will be gradually introduced to the new features of the electronic health card and telemedicine.
Read more
Photo: Male nurse slides an incubator into the MRI; Copyright: LMT Medical Systems GmbH

An incubator suitable for MRI scans

01/03/2016

Every little thing can be a matter of life or death for premature babies. That is why the right diagnosis plays an extremely important role. This includes examining infants with an MRI scan. Until now, sliding premature babies into an MRI scanner without an incubator was only possible to a limited degree. Now this problem could be solved.
Read more
Photo: two physicians working at a test set-up

Atherosclerosis: Getting to the root of the problem with a turbo gene

09/02/2016

Many people suffer from atherosclerosis, especially in developed countries. The buildup of fatty deposits inside the arterial blood vessels leads to strokes and heart attacks. Now, a new method is designed to get to the root of the problem, and with the help of nanoparticles inject new turbo replacement cells into the blood vessels which are intended to exert their curative effect.
Read more
Photo: artificial heart valve

Artificial heart valve: "The structure is meant to be broken down again by the body at a later point."

08/01/2016

There are various artificial heart valves available for children, but they have one essential drawback: they need to be replaced because the children are still growing. The artificial valve, on the other hand, remains the same size – and subsequently becomes too small. This is why an artificial heart valve that grows over time would be ideal.
Read more
Photo: white implant lying in petri dish

Repairing the bile duct with bacterial nanocellulose

08/12/2015

The closure apparatus between the gallbladder and small intestine is frequently injured during gallbladder surgeries. So far, however, there has been no surgical option to bridge tissue defects. Now, a novel implant made of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) could change this. Its nanofiber network makes it extremely robust so that it is able to take on a supporting function.
Read more
Image: Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer: increased patient safety thanks to the ”Da Vinci“ surgical system

09/11/2015

Interview with Professor Jürgen Weitz, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic of Visceral, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus at the Technical University Dresden
Read more
Photo: Smiling man - Sven Seifert

A new world: hybrid operating room workstation

02/11/2015

Performing surgery in a hybrid operating room is meant to be a relief for the staff and offer patients new options for treatment. What is actually so different about this hybrid operating room, what can you expect and what should you keep in mind during the planning process?
Read more
Photo: laboratory staff evaluating DNA

Direct-To-Consumer Testing: the business with lifestyle tests

08/10/2015

The many possibilities the Internet offers also don’t shy away from laboratory medicine. The demand for biochemical or genetic tests continues to rise. Next to standard laboratory tests, a market developed in which the patient is the immediate recipient of clinical results. New distribution channels eliminate the physician as the responsible party.
Read more
Photo: Running doctor

Industrial therapists in hospitals: changing structures

22/09/2015

Hospitals only achieve a high level of patient safety if the workplaces of all their employees are optimally designed. Things can become life-threatening when doctors and nursing staff have not been properly trained. Dr. Carsten Ostendorp at the Center for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Hospitals (ZAK), spoke about this topic with MEDICA.de.
Read more

Wearables and apps: insecure connections, careless users

01/09/2015

They are exciting for enthusiasts of the "quantified self" movement and extremely useful for athletes: wearables that measure and store numerous body parameters and enable long-term data analysis. Yet, for their use in medicine and rehabilitation, manufacturer and user both need to ask themselves how safe the devices actually are.
Read more

Small companions: How wearables change our lives

01/09/2015

They can be seen everywhere: at the wrists, in the ear, clipped to the belt. Wearables are small technical assistants who are built to collect and partially also to analyze data. Some of them collect measurable health data, others "only" count their user’s steps or measure the surrounding UV radiation. The fact is, however, that wearables are en vogue and are used for many different cases.
Read more
Photo: huge data server

Big Data: breaking the curse of dimensionality

24/08/2015

The term big data is complex. On one hand, it describes the amount of data itself while characterizing the technology required to collect and analyze the data on the other. The fact is big data is essential in medicine. Data-supported models not only assist in promoting medical research, they also make it easier to reach treatment decisions.
Read more
Photo: People with covered faces

Data protection: Can medical research be anonymized?

08/07/2015

Electronic health records, telemedicine, cloud computing and big data: questions about data protection appear everywhere in digitized health care. Yet what do things look like far away from application at the foundations of medicine? Can patient data and personal rights in research be protected when several centers and numerous researchers participate in studies?
Read more

Transcatheter Pacing System: The world’s smallest cardiac pacemaker

01/07/2015

In the case of cardiac arrhythmia, the normal heart rate gets out of balance due to various reasons. In some cases, it is necessary to implant a cardiac pacemaker. Just like with any intervention, this type of surgery also involves risks. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to abnormal wound healing or obliteration of the vascular system.
Read more
Photo: Image with red luminous bladder, next cystoscope

Making the invisible visible with fluorescence

22/06/2015

Bladder tumors have different growth characteristics. In most cases, they are limited to the inner wall of the bladder and thus well resectable. Unlike carcinoma in situ, which becomes muscle invasive after a certain amount of time. To be able to completely remove the tumor during resection, photodynamic diagnostics (PDD) can make sense.
Read more

Tumor markers: State-of-the-art diagnostics for personalized medicine

01/06/2015

When cancer is diagnosed, the terms tumor markers or biomarkers keep popping up. They describe characteristics that are not found in healthy persons. The classic tumor markers can be easily detected in blood samples or other body fluids. Other analysis methods require more effort. Yet they all share one thing in common: biomarkers indicate a potential tumor.
Read more
Graphic: human sacrum

"Neuromonitoring during lesser pelvis surgery is still uncharted territory"

08/05/2015

The bowel is surrounded by a dense plexus of nervous tissue that presents problems for surgeons. On the one hand, it is difficult to distinguish from the surrounding tissue; while on the other hand, sometimes portions of it need to be removed when parts of the colon are removed. Yet injuring these nerves can result in permanent damage.
Read more

Early cancer detection: "Physicians and patients need a good database"

04/05/2015

Whether it is a mammogram, colonoscopy or a skin cancer screening – after a certain age, we are subject to various early cancer detection screenings. Yet many of us don’t know that these screening tests are also associated with risks. This is something what Dr. Sylvia Sänger from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf discovered in a study.
Read more

Cancer prevention: Beneficial and ultimately personal

04/05/2015

There are many decisions to be made in an adult life; among them are cancer prevention screenings. They are voluntary and many people deliberate whether they should go or not and if they would actually want to know the results. Science, politics and health care professionals also ponder with each new preventive service whether it is beneficial and who should end up paying for it.
Read more
Photo: Breast implants

Medical Devices Directive: Inspected and still not safe

22/04/2015

The Medical Devices Directive defines what constitutes a medical device. At the same time, it inspects and monitors. However, scandals in the medical technology industry keep causing uncertainty. They rekindled debate over the safety and transparency of medical devices and also triggered changes on an international level. As a result, new laws are needed more than ever.
Read more
Photo: Knee operation

Cartilage Registry: "We generate fully independent data"

23/03/2015

Does a patient benefit from treatment or not? How many patients are being treated as a result of damaged cartilage in the knee joint? What intervention is performed most frequently? These and other questions are meant to be answered in the future with the help of a new Cartilage Registry, which was created by the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery.
Read more

Crisis Management: Keeping the big picture in mind

02/03/2015

How should a hospital best respond to an emergency and which types of crises should it be prepared for? We spoke with Professor Ronald Glasberg at the SRH Hochschule Berlin on this subject.
Read more

Hospital crisis communication: A crisis knows no rules

02/03/2015

Crises come in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s poor hygiene, thefts or treatment errors – once the crisis has arrived, things need to move quickly. For hospitals in particular, the right crisis communication is key. Yet many medical facilities still neglect the fact that crisis communication starts before the actual crisis takes place.
Read more
Photo: Tissue sections on object slides

Digital pathology: From microscope slide to virtual microscopy

02/02/2015

The digitization of medicine moves on. Researchers, physicians and patients equally benefit from this development – thanks to improved diagnostics with highly sensitive devices, today findings can be comprehensively analyzed and treatment decisions made on a broadened basis. Digitization also offers the area of pathology interesting fields of application.
Read more
Photo: Patient at the ICU

"We simply want to improve intensive care medicine"

22/01/2015

Something we learned from nuclear power plants: since 2010, peer reviews are being conducted in German intensive care units. These voluntary peer reviews are primarily intended to improve the quality of intensive care medicine. Ultimately, it is not just the patient, but also the hospital that benefits from this.
Read more

“When patient monitoring becomes too intensive, it violates human dignity and human rights“

01/12/2014

Modern medical technology shortens and makes care processes easier, while it ensures the safety of patients at the same time. However, monitoring or electronic sensors for remote surveillance keep being accompanied by ethical violations. Patients feel like they are being watched and in the worst-case scenario, robbed of their freedom and autonomy.
Read more

Making Your Own End-of-Life Decisions: “All options of palliative care, pain management and continued life need to have been explained to the patient“

01/12/2014

How does a physician handle a patient, who wants to die and what rights do I actually have as a patient? Legal practitioners do not automatically answer these and other questions. We talked about this subject with MD-PhD Ralf Jox from the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.
Read more
Photo: Nurse in the OR checks a list

Surgical safety checklists: patient safety to check off

08/09/2014

You find out after surgery that the left knee was treated instead of the right one. Although such mistakes rarely happen, they can have serious consequences – both for the patient and the image of the physician and the hospital.
Read more

Pediatric anesthesia: "I would object to a specialty medical training"

01/09/2014

When very young children already need to be in the operating room, it’s not just the parents that are concerned. This type of situation is a special challenge for the entire operating team, because children are always very special patients - especially since they are not just simply small grown-ups!
Read more
Photo: Patient with a walking aid in the hospital

Quality in health care: "It is about the welfare of treated patients"

22/05/2014

Measuring quality in health care is not easy. Controlling it doesn’t just provide challenges for the medical sector, but also for policy makers. This is why measuring and representation systems for quality in hospitals as well as improvement concepts are being developed at the IGES Institute.
Read more

Medical apps: functionality and safety is key

02/05/2014

Successful communication is most important in medicine. The most modern channels have been utilized in this area for quite some time now. Medical apps need to meet several requirements at once. For their use to pay off, they need to be beneficial for prevention or therapy. And to ensure a safe application, they also need to be both technically and medically flawless.
Read more

Mobile assistance systems: "The device automatically notifies if something is not right"

02/05/2014

Staying active and mobile when you are old – who doesn’t want that? People suffering from dementia can often only dream about that. The fear of not finding your way back home or not getting any help in an emergency severally restricts many affected people in the way they live their lives. Yet there are many people, who could still independently participate in life despite mild dementia.
Read more

RESCUER: "Crowds should take an active part in ensuring their own safety during major events"

01/04/2014

Thousands of people push through a tight tunnel: 21 people died while several hundred people were injured this way during the Love Parade 2010 disaster in Duisburg, Germany. Today we know that such disasters could be prevented, if communication between event participants and rescue workers would be better.
Read more

Training: "Participants do not have to experience every mistake they make at the simulator with the patient first"

01/04/2014

In an emergency, every flick of the wrist has to be correct – the right treatment is time-critical and usually vital. Mistakes can be fatal, so emergency physicians and paramedics need to be seasoned and experienced. But they will not always know certain problems from their daily work. Using patient simulators, they are able to train for rare situations and learn possible solutions.
Read more

Continuing education: overarching cooperation is necessary

04/03/2014

Medical science and technology are growing. This holds not only true for the demand of medical services that an ever-aging and evermore wealthy population has from healthcare systems. Theoretical and practical knowledge are growing, too. Thus, healthcare staff has to keep up to date regarding the use of new devices and therapies.
Read more

KOHALA: digital student for cancer treatment

03/02/2014

Shortening a time-consuming procedure from four hours to five minutes and automate it at the same time sounds like a dream come true for employees in all fields and industry sectors. This dream could soon become a reality for radiologists. Software could take away the tedious processing of CT images, which is required before cancer radiation therapy.
Read more

Clinical trials: "Registry-embedded clinical trials are the way of the future"

06/01/2014

Even medical risk products are not always tested as thoroughly as would be necessary – be it because of criminal energy, lack of know-how or financial reasons. A revision of clinical trial procedures could not only fix loop holes and methodological flaws. Products and methods could also be brought into general medical care more quickly under new rules.
Read more

Study approach: surgical trials mean more safety in the operating room

06/01/2014

Whether a surgical suture is better applied manually or with a surgical stapler can be determined through trial and error. Determining which method guarantees patient safety best should also not just be based on a surgeon’s experience. Controlled studies are the method of choice to assess both well-proven and new techniques in the operating room.
Read more