insights from our partners TDG – an innovation powerhouse for digitised healthcare solutions
“Hands-on science” is the credo in the Apotheken-Drohnen-Projekt (ADApp, short for “Pharmacy Drone Project”), which is currently being carried out in southern Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Because here, science is being put into practice: a research and development consortium consisting of representatives from the University of Halle, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and three medium-sized companies are jointly developing an app that can be used to order medicines and deliver them by drone. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that such innovative approaches are urgently needed in health care, given that medication needed to arrive at vulnerable groups even in times of lockdown. This need became particularly evident in Saxony-Anhalt where demographic is peaking and whose citizens live to large parts in rural areas. As such, ADApp can help to secure the delivery of urgently needed medication in particular for vulnerable groups in rural areas. However, the project can also be understood as a pilot for drone delivery in general even when concentrating on an important set of special case application scenarios. Its results may eventually become scalable to other fields of application with regards to technical feasibility, user experience, and regulation.
ADApp is one of many innovative projects triggered by the efforts of the alliance “Translational Region for Digital Health Care” (TDG). Through its activities, TDG aims to turn a region that is particularly challenged by the aforementioned factors as well structural challenges imposed by the German exit to coal mining, into an innovation powerhouse for digitised healthcare in Germany and beyond. The growing network was founded in 2018 and currently consists of 100+ members. Its stakeholders include experts from the health care professions, nurses and representatives from those that are in need of care, as well as computer scientists, designers, innovation managers and academics from the field of nursing. The actors are united by the will to actively shape the future of health care in their region.
Through the TDG alliance, the actors from science, industry and society are bundled as “designers” of innovative solutions in care provision. TDG acts as intermediary and “translator” between those groups and actively seeks to engage its member by offering the full range of activities needed to establish sustainable innovations – from idea creation and team matching to the organisation of innovation funding and consultancy for market entry as well as scientific evaluation. Both institutions and individuals within and outside the TDG region can become alliance partners. In this way, the innovative strength of the region is increased in a trusting cooperation between business, science and society. The partners inspire each other to come up with innovative solutions which also strengthens the transfer of scientific findings into economic practice through university-business collaborations. A trend report recently published by TDG also makes clear why these efforts within digitized health care need to be further intensified and what success stories TDG has been able create so far on this mission. In fact, the TDG project has currently reached implementation phase 2 where it will focus on developing a sustainability pathway for all its activities.
For the moment, TDG alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is led by the Medical Faculty of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg under close operational support of Univations GmbH, integral partner of the UNITE4H consortium. With its strong network across academia, business and policy and its expertise in innovation funding, business modelling as well as project management, Univations’ role within TDG is decisive. Even beyond the activities of TDG, the company pursues the goal of bringing scientists and companies together and providing support for respective knowledge transfer processes. Projects like ADApp prove once again the potential inherent in close cooperation between actors from SMEs and the university sector.
Header photo by Univations/TDG
MLU Medical Faculty
Translationsregion für Digitalisierte Gesundheitsversorgung – TDG