Smart IT protects our most valuable asset
Embedded systems support patients and doctors: With the help of smart em-bedded software, many people can receive better and more continuous care even today. In emergencies, too, interconnected IT solutions help to save crucial minutes of precious time for the patient.
For many people, telemonitoring offers the possibility to feel safer at home – despite an illness: Patients are supported at all times by unobtrusive technology. Any deterioration of their health status is recognized by sensors and, if necessary, a visit to the doctor can be recommended on time. This allows safely recognizing even such symptoms that indicate a deterioration of the health status, but which are not even perceived by the patient himself. Telemonitoring thus ensures that visits to the doctor take place exactly at those times when they are necessary.
On the other hand, the time spent on unnecessary consultations is also reduced. This has advantages for both the patients and the doctors. “The burden on the healthcare system is relieved through the efficient use of embedded systems in modern IT solutions, and patients – especially also those who are chronically ill – still feel that they are getting better care although they do not need to go to the doctor all the time”, says Dr. Thomas Kuhn, department head at Fraunhofer IESE, who is the coordinator for the topic Smart Health at the Fraunhofer Embedded Systems Alliance.
Emergency logistics is another area where the benefits of embedded IT solutions are becoming increasingly obvious: Fast arrival of emergency medical services at the scene is just as important as subsequently finding a suitable destination hospital as soon as possible where the patient will receive further care. In addition to the distance, the currently available capacities of a hospital are an important factor. Valuable time is saved if an automated query is performed via IT that guides the emergency medical service directly to a suitable hospital, instead of the medics having to manually make phone calls in order to find a suitable location for their patient.
Fraunhofer Embedded Systems Alliance supports e-health
In the Embedded Systems Alliance, 12 Fraunhofer institutes are working on developing solutions to improve medical care in cities as well as in rural areas with the help of state-of-the-art IT on the basis of embedded systems. Optimization is aimed at both devices for the medical care of patients and at other tasks in the healthcare sector. In this context, the members of the alliance are developing and studying the complete range of required technologies, from novel types of sensors via communication systems to modern software systems. In this sensitive area, the researchers focus particularly on compliance with safety and security.
The following member institutes of the Fraunhofer Embedded Systems Alliance will be represented at Medica (16 – 19 November 2015) in Düsseldorf:
The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT will show an e-health / telecare demonstrator. Its core is a smart TV located in the patient’s living room. The system integrates the collection, representation, and assessment of various vital parameters, offers video conferencing with the patient’s physician, relatives, or friends, and additionally provides an information channel offering information to the user about health issues and chronic illnesses. (Hall 10, Booth G05)
The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD will present the network “TakeCare”, of which it is the coordinator, at the joint booth of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern at “Medica”. The network “Take Care” is a consortium of industry partners, research institutes, and users. The focus of “TakeCare” is on the individual and on the sensor-based collection and assessment of activity and vital data. (Hall 15, G56)
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS will present the prototype of FitnessSHIRTs, which closes the gap between lifestyle products, professional sports, and, in the near future, health applications. Even today, technology integrated into textiles records important vital data, such as one-channel ECG.
In the area of digital pathology, Fraunhofer IIS will present the SCube microscopy platform, a cost-efficient and compact development platform for digital pathology and automated lab tests. Web-based technologies for virtual sample determination and fast, interactive navigation support user-friendly solutions for telepathology, quality control, and training purposes.
(Hall 10, Booth G05).
The Fraunhofer Embedded Systems Alliance comprises the following institutes and research institutions: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC, Fraunhofer Institute for Embedded Systems and Communication Technologies ESK, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS, Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI, Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technology and Image Exploitation IOSB-INA, as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT (Project Group for Mechatronic Systems Design).