MedTech Projects at FAU

FAU is a full-spectrum university with a long tradition of research with a myriad of projects. Over 250 programs and long-standing partnerships with international research institutions (such as Max Planck, Fraunhofer and Helmholtz) allow for a broad and diverse interdisciplinary angles, and the opportunity to network with others and consider research questions from different perspectives. FAU encourages its members to think in every direction – above all laterally!

 

Current Research Projects

 

Central aims of digiDEM are the establishment of a digital guide and the provision of digital services for people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Furthermore, digiDEM purposes to create a digital support platform for volunteers and to facilitate a digital participation of the Bavarian citizens.

In addition, digiDEM aims to push forward outcomes research in dementia care. The aim is to create a digital register in Bavaria that will contribute to a better understanding of the complexity and long-term progression of dementia. Thus, long-term data will be collected in all seven administrative regions (Regierungsbezirke) within Bavaria. The data will include the treatment, care and utilization of services of people with dementia as well as the caregivers’ burden. These findings will help to improve the life of people with dementia and their caregivers, particularly in the rural areas of Bavaria.

Digitales Demenzregister Bayern
Funding Source: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Gesundheit und Pflege (StMGP) (ab 10/2013)
Project start: 01.01.2019
Project end: 31.12.2022
Funding Label: G42d-G8300-2017/1606-83

Project lead:
Prof. Dr. med. Peter Kolominsky-Rabas

External partner(s):
Medical Valley – Europäische Metropolregion Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany

Further information about Digital Dementia Registry Bavaria – digiDEM Bayern
Digital Dementia Registry Bavaria – digiDEM Bayern

 

Due to Europe’s ageing society, there has been a dramatic increase in the occurrence of osteoporosis (OP) and related diseases. Sufferers have an impaired quality of life, and there is a considerable cost to society associated with the consequent loss of productivity and injuries. The current understanding of this disease needs to be revolutionized, but study has been hampered by a lack of means to properly characterize bone structure, remodeling dynamics and vascular activity. This project, 4D nanoSCOPE, will develop tools and techniques to permit time-resolved imaging and characterization of bone in three spatial dimensions (both in vitro and in vivo), thereby permitting monitoring of bone remodeling and revolutionizing the understanding of bone morphology and its function.

Advancing osteoporosis medicine by observing bone microstructure and remodelling using a four-dimensional nanoscope
Acronym: 4-D nanoSCOPE
Funding Source:
European Research Council (ERC) (Grant agreement ID: 810316)
Start date: 01/04/2019
End date: 31/03/2025
https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/810316

Project Lead:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Maier
Prof. Dr. Georg Schett

Further Information about Advancing osteoporosis medicine by observing bone microstructure and remodelling using a four-dimensional nanoscope

Brain tissue is not only one of the most important but also the most complex and compliant tissue in the human body. While long underestimated, increasing evidence confirms that mechanics plays a critical role in modulating brain function and dysfunction. The Emmy-Noether research group BRAINIACS – BRAIn mechaNIcs ACross Scales – aims to establish novel computational tools based on nonlinear continuum mechanics that can facilitate early diagnostics of neurological diseases and advance modern treatment strategies. We bridge the scales from known biological processes on the cellular scale to macroscopic pathologies apparent through modern imaging techniques.

BRAIn mechaNIcs ACross Scales: Linking microstructure, mechanics and pathology
Funding Source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Emmy-Noether-Programm (EIN-ENP)
Project start: 01.10.2019
Project end: 30.09.2022
Funding Label: BU 3728/1-1

Project lead:
Dr.-Ing. Silvia Budday

Further Information about BRAIn mechaNIcs ACross Scales: Linking microstructure, mechanics and pathology

SMART Start focuses on improving and simplifying the provision and care of pregnant women. Sensory applications such as fitness trackers and smartwatches are now widely used in everyday life. The project investigates how these techniques and the data obtained from them can be used in the context of regular prenatal care. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are also used. In addition to the patients, the medical care system, in general, could also benefit from this. The interdisciplinary research project is carried out jointly by experts from medicine, computer science, ethics, psychology, and health economics. The focus is also on clinical usability, social acceptance, compliance of the actors concerned, and the further development of sensory technologies and related ethical, medical law, and economic issues.

Smarte Sensorik in der Schwangerschaft – Ein integratives Konzept zur digitalen, präventiven Versorgung schwangerer Frauen (SMART Start)
Funding Source: Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (BMG)
Project start: 01.03.2020
Project end: 31.08.2022
Funding Label: ZMVI1-2519DAT400

Project lead:
Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier

Further Information about Smarte Sensorik in der Schwangerschaft – Ein integratives Konzept zur digitalen, präventiven Versorgung schwangerer Frauen (SMART Start)

 

 

The main objective of the MASCARA network is to characterize the various groups of symptom-free arthritis patients in more detail and to better understand the factors and processes associated with the chronic course of the various forms of arthritis.

Molekulare Charakterisierung der Remission von Arthritis (MASCARA)
Funding Source: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project start: 01.04.2020
Project end: 30.09.2022
Funding Label: 01EC1903A

Project lead:
Prof. Dr. Uwe Sonnewald
Prof. Dr. med. Georg Schett
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Maier

Further information about Molekulare Charakterisierung der Remission von Arthritis (MASCARA)
mascara-science.de

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the field of oncology in Germany. For the successful care and treatment of patients with breast cancer, a high level of information for those affected is essential in order to achieve a high level of compliance with the established structures and therapies. On the one hand, the digitalisation of medicine offers the opportunity to develop new technologies that increase the efficiency of medical care. On the other hand, it can also strengthen patient compliance by improving information and patient integration through electronic health applications. Thus, a reduction in mortality and an improvement in quality of life can be achieved. Within the framework of this project, digital health programmes are going to be created that support and complement health care. The project aims to provide better and faster access to new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in mainstream oncology care, to implement eHealth models for more efficient and effective cancer care, and to improve capacity for patients in oncologcal therapy in times of crisis (such as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic). The Chair of Health Management is conducting the health economic evaluation and analysing the extent to which digitalisation can contribute to a reduction in the costs of treatment and care as well as to an improvement in the quality of life of breast cancer patients.

Integratives Konzept zur personalisierten Präzisionsmedizin in Prävention, Früh-Erkennung, Therapie und Rückfallvermeidung am Beispiel von Brustkrebs
Funding Source: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Gesundheit und Pflege, StMGP (seit 2018)
Project start: 01.10.2020
Project end: 30.09.2024
Funding Label: GD81d-A1070-2020/259-1#PBN-MGP-2010-0004

Project lead:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Beckmann
Prof. Dr. Oliver Schöffski
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Maier
Prof. Dr. Peter Dabrock
Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Prokosch
Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier
Prof. Dr. med. Peter Fasching

Further information about Integratives Konzept zur personalisierten Präzisionsmedizin in Prävention, Früh-Erkennung, Therapie und Rückfallvermeidung am Beispiel von Brustkrebs

Prävention, Früh-Erkennung, Therapie undRückfallvermeidung am Beispiel von Brustkrebs – DigiOnko
Funding Source: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Gesundheit und Pflege, StMGP (seit 2018)
Project start: 01.10.2020
Project end: 30.09.2024

Project lead:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Beckmann
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Maier
Prof. Dr. Oliver Schöffski
Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier
Prof. Dr. Peter Dabrock
Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Prokosch

Further information about Integratives Konzept zur personalisierten Präzisionsmedizin in Prävention, Früh-Erkennung, Therapie und Rückfallvermeidung am Beispiel von Brustkrebs (DigiOnko)
Press Release
Mit digitaler Medizin gegen Brustkrebs” (3rd February 2021)

The proposed CRC “Empatho-Kinaesthetic Sensor Technology” (EmpkinS) will investigate novel radar, wireless, depth camera, and photonics-based sensor technologies as well as body function models and algorithms. The primary objective of EmpkinS is to capture human motion parameters remotely with wave-based sensors to enable the identification and analysis of physiological and behavioural states and body functions. To this end, EmpkinS aims to develop sensor technologies and facilitate the collection of motion data for the human body. Based on this data of hitherto unknown quantity and quality, EmpkinS will lead to unprecedented new insights regarding biomechanical, medical, and psychophysiological body function models and mechanisms of action as well as their interdependencies.

The main focus of EmpkinS is on capturing human motion parameters at the macroscopic level (the human body or segments thereof and the cardiopulmonary function) and at the microscopic level (facial expressions and fasciculations). The acquired data are captured remotely in a minimally disturbing and non-invasive manner and with very high resolution. The physiological and behavioural states underlying the motion pattern are then reconstructed algorithmically from this data, using biomechanical, neuromotor, and psychomotor body function models. The sensors, body function models, and the inversion of mechanisms of action establish a link between the internal biomedical body layers and the outer biomedical technology layers. Research into this link is highly innovative, extraordinarily complex, and many of its facets have not been investigated so far.

To address the numerous and multifaceted research challenges, the EmpkinS CRC is designed as an interdisciplinary research programme. The research programme is coherently aligned along the sensor chain from the primary sensor technology (Research Area A) over signal and data processing (Research Areas B and C) and the associated modelling of the internal body functions and processes (Research Areas C and D) to the psychological and medical interpretation of the sensor data (Research Area D). Ethics research (Research Area E) is an integral part of the research programme to ensure responsible research and ethical use of EmpkinS technology.

The proposed twelve-year EmpkinS research programme will develop novel methodologies and technologies that will generate cutting-edge knowledge to link biomedical processes inside the human body with the information captured outside the body by wireless and microwave sensor technology. With this quantum leap in medical technology, EmpkinS will pave the way for completely new “digital”, patient-centred diagnosis and therapeutic options in medicine and psychology.

Medical technology is a research focus with flagship character in the greater Erlangen-Nuremberg area. This outstanding background along with the extensive preparatory work of the involved researchers form the basis and backbone of EmpkinS.

EmpkinS- Sensortechniken und Datenanalyseverfahren zur empathokinästhetischen Modellbildung und Zustandsbestimmung
Funding Source: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Project start: 01.07.2021
Project end: 30.06.2025

Project lead:
Prof. Dr. Martin Vossiek

Further information about Empkins

The PRECODE Network (PancREatic Cancer OrganoiDs rEsearch) central mission is to establish pancreatic organoid research firmly in the European Union, by training the next generation of creative and innovative researchers in pancreatic cancer.

PancREatic Cancer OrganoiDs rEsearch (PRECODE)
Project start: 01.10.2019
Project end: 30.09.2023

Further Information about PancREatic Cancer OrganoiDs rEsearch (PRECODE)

 

 

 

Completed Research Projects

 

MIRACUM – this is ten universities with ten university hospitals, two universities of applied sciences and one industrial partner spread over five German states. In July 2017, the BMBF announced that MIRACUM (Medical Informatics in Research and Care in University Medicine), as one of four consortia, receives funding of €32 Mio to implement the envisaged projects. On September 1st 2018, our new partners, the University Medicine Dresden and the University Medicine Greifswald, officially joined the MIRACUM consortium, with about 5.4 million euros funding from the BMBF. The spotlight is here on the data integration centres that will be embedded in the hospital IT-infrastructure and will facilitate the collection and exchange of data within the consortia university hospitals. Three use cases shall prove the effectivity of the innovative infrastructure with direct and prompt improvement of patient care. Data protection and data security are given top priority in this venture. Further we will elaborate a programme for strengthening medical informatics by extending the academic offer, including new professorships in the field of medical informatics, a novel, innovative master programme and personnel training.

The MIRACUM partners have agreed to share data, based on interoperable data integration centres, develop common and interoperable tools and services, realize the power of such data and tools in innovative IT solutions, which shall enhance patient-centred collaborative research as well as clinical care processes, and finally to strengthen biomedical informatics in research, teaching and continued education.

Medical Informatics in Research and Care in University Medicine (MIRACUM)
Funding source: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Project Lead:
Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Prokosch
Prof. Acker (Giessen University)
Prof. Thomas Ganslandt (University Medicin Mannheim)

Further Information about MIRACUM

More information on research projects, publications, and funding can be found on the
FAU Current Research Information System (CRIS) platform.