Key Topics

The Berlin-Brandenburg region has a proud science tradition. The heart catheter was invented here, the first functioning computer was built here, and many famous scientists such as Einstein, Forßmann, Helmholtz, Humboldt, Koch, Leibniz, Planck, Siemens, and Virchow worked here.

The German capital region also has a higher density of research institutions than anywhere else in the country. In the life sciences, the collaborative relationships here are highly developed – a special advantage for innovative companies with an international orientation.

The megatrends in the future development of medical technology are digitization, miniaturization, molecularization, biologization, and individualization. These are of particular importance in five technology fields in which the region hosts a large number of excellent companies, research institutions, and clinics. The potential in the following cutting-edge technologies must be consistently expanded:

Imaging diagnostics

The Berlin-Brandenburg region is one of the world leaders in both traditional and experimental medical imaging. At the more than 130 hospitals in the two states, the entire range of diagnostic imaging devices is available in large numbers. The Charité, home to the Institute of Radiology, the University Radiology Clinic, and the Clinic for Nuclear Medicine, is Europe's largest university hospital and the largest provider of radiology services in Europe.

Technology development and application in the field of high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) constitute a major research focus at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC).
In terms of industry, around 15 companies in Berlin and Brandenburg are involved in the development and production of contrast agents and optical imaging methods.
An essential aspect of the medical imaging research being conducted in the region is the close, interdisciplinary ties among researchers in physics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and medicine and the ties between research and industry, supported by an active cluster management in the healthcare industry.

To continue driving the future of modern imaging, Imaging Network Berlin (INB) brings together experts and practitioners from the worlds of research and industry.

E-Health Technologies & Medical Informatics

With their innovative spirit and digital expertise, startups deliver fresh solutions for digital transformation in the healthcare industry. The German capital region is home to over one hundred digital health startups, and the numbers are growing each year. They develop mobile apps and wearables to empower patients suffering from chronic diseases and to assist in their self-management. State-of-the-art technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data accelerate new applications. The regional startup ecosystem is highly self-organized and offers young pioneers a  broad range of events such as meet-ups, bar camps, seed camps and hackathons.

Telemedicine and electronic health information exchange are among the most important topics that are actively addressed by the stakeholders in the Berlin-Brandenburg cluster for healthcare industries and life sciences. Several high-profile international research projects and clinical trials on telemedicine (FONTANE, CardioBBEAT) in Berlin-Brandenburg lead to new scientific data and foster the development of marketable telemedical products by industrial partners.

Further information and a list of major stakeholders can be found in our Digital Health brochure.

 

Orthopedics and arthroplasty

 

The number of implants is increasing worldwide, especially in hip and knee endoprosthetics. This trend is due to several factors.  On the one hand, the predicted population development shows an increasing proportion of people over 60 years of age, so that the number of primary implantation increases proportionally. In addition, patient demand has changed significantly in recent decades. People are no longer content to use crutches and walkers to make their way through everyday life, instead seeking to be active in sports and to continue lifestyle activities as far as possible into old age. This also increases the demands placed on artificial joints once implanted, including the mobility of the parts, wear-and-tear, and patient comfort. This is where biomaterial research can play an important role, as has been the case at the Teltow Institute for Biomaterials Research at Helmholtz Center Geesthacht and at the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies.

Leading manufacturers such as aap Implantate , botiss medical , Merete, OHST, Otto Bock, and Zimmer Biomet are located in the German capital region.

 

Cardiovascular medical technology

 

The field of cardiovascular medical technology is strongly represented in Berlin and Brandenburg thanks to a concentration of leading companies and institutions. The close cooperation between research, development, and clinical application makes the region a global center for the research and production of cutting-edge cardiovascular technologies.

Biotronik , Berlin Heart , B. Braun Melsungen , GETEMED, and Osypka Medical are among the companies headquartered in the German capital region. Renowned area clinics in the field of cardiovascular medicine include the German Heart Center Berlin, the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Vivantes Clinics, the Heart Center Brandenburg, and the Sana Heart Center Cottbus.

 

Minimally invasive medicine

Being able to perform surgery with minimally invasive technologies and skills is a great asset to medicine. This type of surgery is less stressful to the patient and usually results in faster recovery and patient mobilization. These technologies are widely used at the more than 130 hospitals in the German capital region. The Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Vivantes Prostate Center Berlin, and Immanuel Klinik Rüdersdorf are particularly known for being leaders in this field. They offer state-of-the-art DaVinci robotic systems that enable a combination of minimally invasive techniques with precise manual preparation techniques for open surgical procedures.

Karl Storz, Limmer Laser, Olympus Surgical Technologies, and W.O.M. WORLD OF MEDICINE and Xion are among the leading manufacturers of minimally invasive technologies in the German capital region.

 

At the interface to other highly innovative technology sectors.

Thanks to geographical conditions and technical expertise, the region offers excellent conditions, especially for the development of eHealth technologies. Research and development activities have to increase in order for companies to achieve international competitiveness and to develop more technology transfer projects that will push the testing of new digital medical hardware and software even further. Medical devices enable greater independence and living at home even in old age. Medical technology is also a key factor in the areas of "Ambient Assisted Living" (self-determined life through innovative technology) and "healthy aging." Here, too, it is important to pool expertise in the region and in particular to intensify dialogue with the players in the digital sector.

Other highly innovative fields of technology, which are already represented in the capital region with very good approaches, but which can be significantly further developed especially with regard to medical technology, include nanotechnology and regenerative medicine. The topic "biologized medical technology" marks an important interface for this focus. Corresponding measures are to be linked with the field of action "biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," in which regenerative medicine, red biotechnology (for example organ replacement), as well as diagnostics (for example contrast agents, tracers) also play outstanding roles.