FH Campus Wien establishes an Operating Theatre-Innovation Centre

Increasing demands on the technical infrastructure, hygiene standards and workflows make today’s operating theatres complex and costly - with optimisation potential. Together with its partners in the healthcare sector, FH Campus Wien has therefore built a high-tech operating theatre equipped with the latest state of the art technology at FH HQ in Vienna’s Favoriten district. The focus of the research: medical, ventilation, cooling, and information technology systems, as well as workflow and associated simulation models for the theatre, including preparation and follow-ups.

“We see in the Operating Theatre-Innovation Centre (OPIC) the chance to make Vienna a leading location for surgical innovations,” insists Andreas Posch, head of the technology department at FH Campus Wien and OPIC project manager. After launching the theatre, the second phase will be to upgrade it into an Intensive Care Unit including associated intraoperative imaging technology. Then it will be possible to holistically examine and analyse the clinical patient’s path - from the imaging diagnostics, via the theatre, through to the intensive care and nursing care areas - for research and training purposes. The Vienna Business Agency is promoting the development of the interdisciplinary OPIC with around €530,000. "With the support of research infrastructure we have broken new ground. Well-funded projects like OPIC have more than confirmed that Vienna benefits from this research spirit,” says Christian Bartik, head of the funding department in the Vienna Business Agency.

Research collaboration with companies, KAV and OTH Amberg-Weiden
On the corporate side, the gsm Gesellschaft für Sicherheit in der Medizintechnik GmbH, TRILUX Medical GmbH & Co. KG and MANN+HUMMEL Vokes Air GmbH participate in the OPIC, by providing the general and research equipment and human resources. The Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden (OTH-AW), which has already built a teaching and research theatre, supported the OPIC with peer-reviewed scientific results and recommendations. The Vienna Hospital Association (KAV) proposes research topics from the perspective of one of the largest health care providers in Central Europe.

Unique Austria-wide interdisciplinary surgical research infrastructure
Especially noteworthy is the close cooperation between the health and technical personnel. “This teaching and research operating theatre environment provides for optimal networks between the technical study programmes of FH Campus Wien, led by Clinical Engineering, and the health programmes Nursing and Radiology Technology, by making existing expertise and infrastructure - such as diagnostic imaging also laboratory diagnosis - interwoven and usable,” added Andreas Posch.
The OPIC enables the testing, evaluation and development of established and new medical, ventilation, cooling, and information technology systems in the specific surgical environment. It provides, for example, the special opportunity to test prototypes of medical devices before market entry and to optimize them for practical operation. As part of scientific studies, the use of new ventilation systems can be analysed and optimised in order to minimize the risk of infection. Other emphases are simulation models to optimise workflow in the operating theatre and the reduction of high energy demand. Computer-assisted surgical planning and implementation, lighting technology, videoconferencing systems and related new service concepts, as well as diagnostic and communication systems, are also relevant for research.

Further information about the cooperating companies:

FH Campus Wien
With around 5,800 students, FH Campus Wien is the largest university of applied sciences in Austria. Students can choose from 59 bachelor's and master's degree programs and in the departments of Applied Life Sciences, Building and Design, Health, Public Sector, Social Work and Engineering, full-time or part-time: www.fh-campuswien.ac.at/facts

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