In Germany, about 1.6 million people currently suffer from dementia - by the year 2020, according to estimates of the German Alzheimer's Association, about 3 million will be affected. Every year, 40,000 people fall ill, which is about 100 per day. According to current statistics, Baden-Württemberg/Bavaria and NRW are the most affected regions. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, around 350,000 people suffer from a form of dementia. One third of these persons are moderately to severely ill.
High-tech companies work on innovative products in the network project KMU4DEMENTIA
The newly established network KMU4DEMENTIA plans to develop a complete modular system to improve the care of people with dementia in care facilities and hospitals. Through the close collaboration with the Helios University Hospital and the IVAM Microtechnology Network, KMUs can be sure to find the right technological partners and medical users, to develop innovations as needed and to be supported at full length of the innovation process within the framework of the network. The public funded network project incorporates experts e.g. from the fields of medical technology applications, sensors and actuators, IT solutions, robotics and biotechnologies.
Innovation Lab*Dementia bridges the gap between technology and application
Special feature is the establishment of the Innovation Lab*Dementia. In this clinical room, which has been set up at Helios University Hospital Wuppertal, developed products can be tested directly under real conditions. Thus, the innovation process can be supported from the product idea over the product development to the test in real clinical operations. Teams, whose pilot projects are successful, should then be given the opportunity to install their applications in a large-scale "rollout" in other Helios clinics.
According to Maren Geissler, the coordinator of the project at the Helios University Hospital Wuppertal, there is a great need for technologies which optimize the care of patients with dementia and to relieve nursing staff. "That's why we're looking for more high-tech companies for the network, but also companies from other sectors to look beyond their own horizons and deal with new ideas for medical devices, such as furniture or lamp manufacturers," adds IVAM Managing Director Dr. Thomas Dietrich.
The IVAM Microtechnology Network has been commissioned by the network partners with the management, the acquisition of further partners and the preparation of research collaborations in the network funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics.