In the 21st century, every second person is seeking online contact with their general practitioner, the 2. Hamburger eHealth-Lounge der Gesundheitswirtschaft Hamburg GmbH (GWHH) said on June 23 in the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg during the #SmartHealth: Digital Solutions for the Health City of Hamburg convention. The online demand for doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, online advice as well as digital coaching for depression, diabetes or tinnitus is rising. Some 40 health experts discussed diverse offers for patients.
UKE leads the way in digitalization
The Apotheke 2.0 (Pharmacy 2.0) at UKE is going excellently, said Gunnar Ebeling, a pharmacist at the Clinical Pharmacy in UKE. The switch from paper to digital process has noticeably improved pharmaceutical drug safety. It has reduced the incompatibility of medication taken simultaneously. A QR-Code on the www.beipackzettel.de makes patients aware of the risks and side effects of prescribed medication. This digitalisation project is unique in Germany and UKE is one of only four European hospitals where patients’ files are fully digital.
Smartphones for managing health data
The LifeTime app by connected health.eu GmbH was founded in late 2014 by Dr. med. Johannes Jacubeit. This allows patients to keep track of all their medical files on a smartphone. The data can be shared on demand to get the best treatment possible as it stores doctors’ diagnoses, X-rays and vastly improves the patient-doctor interaction and exchange of information.
Fighting tinnitus with music
Another ehealth start-up, Sonormed GmbH has developed an app called Tinnitracks for treating tinnitus. In Germany alone, over 3 million people suffer from a bothersome ringing or buzzing in the ears. Tinnitracks allows sufferers to choose music to treat the cause of the noise based on the so-called Tailor-Made-Notched-Music-Training (TMNMT). The effectiveness has already been confirmed by independent clinical trials.
Human Hybrid Robot research
A new approach for supporting manual assembly tasks is the hybridization of biological and technical systems or so-called “Human Hybrid Robot” (HHR) and is also gaining momentum. As part of the smartASSIST project at the Helmut Schmidt University, special systems are being developed “mainly for use in production and care, and additionally in logistics, crafts and construction”, said Dr. Robert Weidner, who heads the project.
Coupling biomechanics and technical elements
Weidner explained: “Our approach is characterised by the intelligent coupling of biomechanical and technical elements to use both human and technical capabilities and skills simultaneously. This could benefit carers who often have to lift and carry heavy loads and even patients. “Our support system can help people to stand up themselves, sit down or go for a stroll. It would help people who have suffered accidents, handicapped people and elderly people with limited mobility.“