Former high school graduate of Markt Schwaben, nominated for the Future Prize

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Stefan Vilsmeier at an event on the spine in the former rotation of our publishing house in Munich. Former Markt Schwabener has been nominated for the Future Prize. © Oliver Bodmer

Stefan Vilsmeier, former student of the Gymnasium Franz Marca, is the company’s founder, medical technology researcher and pioneer of digital diagnostics. The head of the Brainlab company was nominated together with his colleagues for the German Future Prize.

Markt Schwaben – Finally, the Gymnasium Brainlab from Riem, a leading provider in the field of digital health technology, and Professor Cordula Petersen from Hamburg, were recently nominated for the German Future Prize 2022, the federal president’s award for technology and innovation. The award has been awarded by the federal president for more than 25 years and recognizes outstanding technical, engineering or scientific innovation as well as software and algorithms in a national performance comparison. The jury consists of ten independent experts in the field of science and practice. The “ExacTrac Dynamic” technology we are focusing on here examines patients with different tumor variants during irradiation with millimeter precision and uses real-time data to check tumor location. In this way, the treatment beam can be controlled according to the position of the tumor, and damage to the surrounding healthy tissue is reduced. According to a press release from Brainlab, this enables much faster treatment with fewer side effects than conventional radiation treatment.

In developing this groundbreaking method, Vilsmeier and Promberger work closely with Cordula Petersen, who was one of the first to apply this technology in daily radio-oncology at UKE (Hamburg Eppendorf University Hospital) and regularly provide feedback on the implementation and experience of stereotaxic radiosurgery treatment concepts and radiation therapy.

Engaged interdisciplinary research team

“The nomination for the German Future Prize is a unique recognition for the work of our interdisciplinary research and clinical practice team,” says Stefan Vilsmeier, founder and CEO of Brainlab. “It reaffirms our vision of making decisive advances in cancer therapy with software-based medical technology and making it more accessible to more people around the world. Radiotherapy could play a decisive role in the future – perhaps as a first choice. ‘

Cordula Petersen adds: “The potential of the technology is huge: in the future, many cancer patients could be treated faster and with fewer side effects than conventional radiation therapy, which can damage the lungs – this could help provide a better quality of life for patients. In addition, the chances of recovery are greatly increased because even very small tumors in the early stages can be treated with this method in the future. ‘

Cancer is one of the most common causes of death: The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates the number of cancer deaths worldwide in 2020 to be around 9.96 million. During the development of ExacTrac Dynamic, close collaboration between Stefan Vilsmeier and Claus Promberger with Prof. Cordula Petersen led to the successful implementation of the shared vision.

Comprehensive selection process

The nomination for the German Future Prize was preceded by a multi-stage selection process by a jury consisting of independent experts in the field of science and practice. Among other aspects, the following criteria were particularly important for the decision: Scientific and technical degree of technology innovation, as well as patentability and implementation that has already been achieved or is under preparation.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presents the Future Prize 2022 on October 26 in Berlin.

Brainlab develops software-based medical technology for digitizing, automating and optimizing clinical workflows. According to the company, it sets new standards in medical technology to support doctors, medical staff and their patients in more than 6,000 hospitals in 121 countries and improve the quality of life of patients. It employs over 2,000 people in 25 locations around the world.


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