New center dedicated to advancing computer-aided medicine

The multidisciplinary Center for Digital Neurotechnologies Saar (CDNS) has opened in the German federal state of Saarland. Based at the Saarland University Medical Center (UKS) in Homburg, the CDNS is researching ways to further apply digitization in medicine, with a focus on surgery and patient care.

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The CDNS is investigating a broad range of uses for digital technologies, including in the fields of orthopedics, post-natal care, developing post-operative rehabilitation, and surgery. The approach is multidisciplinary and involves cooperation with the Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology (ZeMA) at the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken (htw saar) and the Systems Neurosciences & Neurotechnology Unit (SNNU) at the University of Saarland.

At the center’s opening, University of Saarland President Manfred Schmitt explained how it consolidates the work of many institutions. He said, “The newly opened CDNS gathers together expertise from diverse areas: medicine, biotechnology, computer science, and engineering, …” At the same time, htw saar President, Dieter Leonhard, noted, “Innovative neurotechnological topics, such as brain-computer interfaces and empathetic machines, are still mainly stuff of the future, yet they can only be pursued through interdisciplinary work. By networking scientifically outstanding areas, the center furthers development of a structure that anticipates a high level of research output as well as application potential. International awareness is already relatively high, as visiting delegations from Silicon Valley, publications, and conference participation shows.”

The European Union and Saarland are providing EUR 2.7 million to the CDNS for the coming four years. The leader of the project, Professor Daniel Strauss said the grant would allow the center to systematically transfer processes from basic neurotechnology research and human-machine interaction to clinical medicine. As an example, he cited the gathering of high-resolution, neuromuscular data and applying it to healing processes after the insertion of an artificial knee. Strauss said this would then be networked with artificial intelligence to create rehabilitation protocols tailor made for individual patients.

Additionally, the CDNS has the German mobility high-tech company ZF, which is using digital technologies to streamline fire and rescue services. HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY is where to go to learn more about how German healthcare works, including opportunities for incoming international business.