Now Charité and UKB are joining forces

BerlinAn employee of the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin (UKB) stands on Wednesday morning at the Marzahn clinic for digital therapy and lets the kite fly. He does it virtually, wears VR glasses, and holds two sensors in his hand. The artificial reality it produces is shown on a large screen on the opposite wall. And the way the dragon slowly climbs there looks like a video game.

This is not a game. Witold Rogge and his team use digital technology to try to treat patients. UKB’s senior neurology consultant says: “Post-Covid has not yet been fully investigated.” About 200 symptoms are attributed to this discovery. Until now, complaints are usually treated individually. Everyone who suffers from dyspnea is referred to lung rehabilitation, and those whose circulation no longer goes to cardiac rehabilitation. “We want to find a therapy that is tailored to the patient,” says Rogge.

Charité and Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin (UKB) will not only work more closely together in this area than before. They want to benefit from themselves. And while those responsible for both groups sign on Wednesday at UKB, House S, fourth floor, the future is two floors down. A future with Corona, Post-Covid, Long-Covid, a future with severe clinical pictures that severely limit the lives of those affected.

Charité provides scientific tools for this. For example, the fatigue syndrome following Covid infection, the chronic fatigue that can be caused by the coronavirus. Carmen Scheibenbogen studies this at the University Hospital of Berlin and is considered an expert in the field throughout Germany. The results are now sent directly to the UKB’s attending physicians. It is one of the hospitals of professional associations, BG for short, the largest non-profit hospital care company in Germany, as UKB Managing Director Axel Ekkernkamp points out. “There are currently 100,000 recognized post-Covid occupational disabilities in Germany,” says the professor. “BG hospitals are of course committed to looking after this.”

This is where Senior Doctor Rogge and his team come into play – the video game. “We are logistics,” says the neurologist. Twenty Covid patients are currently treated in UKB. “The question that pops up in our heads: How to get these people back to work?” Answer: by simulation. Because it shouldn’t be just about having the kite fly virtually to train fine motor skills. “By developing our idea, this can lead to the occupational therapist filming the patient’s workplace, translating these images into virtual reality, and then the therapist and the patient exercise possible work processes together.”

Post-Covid: A Long Odyssey of Patients

Simulation, a trip from the pure world of clinics, also creates motivation. At least that is the hope, as people suffering from post-Covid or long-term Covid from waves one and two of a pandemic usually have had an odyssey through the healthcare system and are disappointed, frustrated, and apathetic at their lack of success.

UKB now provides them with technology that they can use in their own four walls after discharge from the hospital. “Here,” says Rogge, looking at a large video wall with a kite set against a mountain panorama, “this is just the beginning.” a wall in a white cloud: “UKB Brain Cloud 1.0”. Brain plexus, first.

Heyo Kroemer passed this letter earlier when he was learning personally what this digital therapy was all about. The president of the Charité is convinced that the medical standard can only be maintained when clinics work together. “Medicine is becoming more and more specialized. No institution is able to provide experts in every field – says the professor.

Charité has developed two strategies to meet this trend. On the one hand, through integration, ”says Kroemer. The Berlin Institute for Health Research is now part of the state university, which will be joined by the German Heart Center in January. The second strategy is: cooperation. Like now with UKB. “I’m sure the close medical and scientific exchange has great added value,” says Ulrike Gote (Greens), senator responsible for both healthcare and science. “Ultimately, the patients benefit.”

Not only in the fight against Corona and the consequences. Charité and UKB initially want to cooperate in the fields of orthopedics, surgery, neurosurgery, urology, ENT and maxillofacial surgery. Both companies also want to counteract another major problem in the hospital sector: the lack of nursing staff. “We will have a small university on our campus in October,” says UKB’s managing director Ekkernkamp. “There will be a digital health course.”

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