Automatic presence detectors in the OR

Hospitals are challenged to provide the highest medical quality and simultaneously to cut costs in order to withstand the enormous pressure of competition. Particularly large improvement and savings potential is in the range of the operating room. Because of a number of medical equipment and the large number of highly qualified specialists surgery is costly and critical to success. The motivation for hospitals to redesign the OP is to minimized failures by intelligent systems, to increase the flow of patients through innovative treatments and to implement work easier for the staff. Questions about possible innovations and even better standards for patient well-being, the economic work and documentation of the operation are the focus of OP -related research at the Fraunhofer ISST.  Along with hospitals and industry partners, the Institute develops new processes and products in order to make the OP even safer for the patient and at the same time profitable for the hospital. The research focus is on the research fields of cost transparency, information logistics, process improvement and patient safety.

Since 2004 the classification system of the DRG (Diagnosis Related Group) which assigns the average cost of medical treatments, is creating accounting for all hospitals within Germany. In order to work efficiently, a constant orientation to the benchmarks established by the DRG is needed. So far the determination of the reference data is done manually in costing hospitals that is why it takes a lot of time and personnel capacity. Moreover, this type of documentation is prone to errors and inaccuracies. A solution for the OR of the future is the use of "Radio Frequency Identification" (RFID) technology, which allows storing information on RFID tags and -chips and can be read in and out. By using this technology in the operating room, an automated data collection of relevant information, such as respiration or staff retention of individual actors within the different phases of an operation is enabled. The additional detection of patients with the help of RFID bracelets would also increase patient safety and eliminate confusion. Together with the Locate Solution GmbH, the Fraunhofer ISST operates within a modern building in BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil in Bochum on a prototype.

Another approach is to implement a fearless OP. Even with modern surgeries, patients are still faced with feelings of insecurity and fear. Therefore, the OP - related research in the Hospital Engineering Laboratory tries to uncover factors for improving the well- being of patients. Appeasing the patient with atmospheric changes like colors or images can be helpful. However, the fundament is a comprehensive education before surgery. In this context, a patient information system could be provide (PIS) for the persons concerned with understandable information about the disease, the process of the operation or the food labels. Also the establishment of the mobile operating table in the German health care market is tracked in the project OR of the future in order to increase patient safety.

A first implementation of innovations is described in the Hospital Engineering laboratory at the Fraunhofer-inHaus-center in Duisburg. The findings from the laboratory go into further development of innovations and will ultimately be realized in the framework of the projects in the different hospitals.

project partners

  • TRILUX GmbH & Co. KG
  • TRILUX Medical GmbH & Co. KG
  • Medicine & Wellbeing - Anxiety -free surgical
  • Söhne GmbH & Co.KG
  • locatesolution GmbH