»Hospital Engineering Lab« in Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center Duisburg

Healthcare in the Focus of Researchers

The healthcare industry in Germany has about 5.4 million employees and is therefore one of the largest employers in our country. But one in four hospitals is facing massive financing problems. The most important innovation driver are efficient processes and modern technology.

The scope for action of hospitals are increasingly constrained by regulation and cost pressures. The willingness to maintain and expand the high quality of care by technical innovations and optimized workflows is growing – not least for reasons of competition.

Synchronous Processes

To be fit for the future hospitals and clinics must get a grip on the cost situation and increase their performance power. Incentive for this are advances in medical technology, better diagnostics and tightly integrated care pathways. The newly opened »Hospital Engineering Laboratory« of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Duisburg is a research and cooperation platform for innovative system solutions with the aim to improve the »overall system hospital«.

Concepts tailored to progress around clinical logistics and supply systems, an integrated patient and information management and an energy-efficient operation of rooms and buildings are the important topics. But what new information and communication technologies, medical devices or software architectures exactly do cannot be answered easily in light of an inscrutable offer wealth.

Practically Evaluating

Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center in Duisburg with the »Hospital Engineering Laboratory« offers both providers and users in the inpatient and outpatient areas the opportunity to test new developments in a realistic environment and to present their performance. The research and test platform includes a model hospital with lobby, patient room, operating room and rehabilitation area.

The lab is an open facility. In addition to researchers from four Fraunhofer institutes there also participate industrial and scientific partners from North Rhine-Westphalia as well as university clinics and hospitals from the Ruhr. The most important aims of the lab are the evaluation and the proof of evidence of technical innovations in the hospital before the final launch.

Advance in medical technology is constantly gaining pace, development cycles of new products are getting shorter. New technologies are convenient and it is useful to obtain its benefits to future treatment scenarios. If experiences are missing, impact assessments are difficult especially in the sensitive hospital area.

The »Hospital Engineering Laboratory« offers an established analysis with new developments without disturbing established processes.