Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Sartorius Quarter: A Hub of Expertise

Dr Malte Bellmann (Ottobock), André Weimer (Rehazentrum Junge), Sebastian Franzius (Hamburg Team), Rainer Junge (Rehazentrum Junge), Rolf Jarasch (Ottobock), Philipp Schulte-Noelle (Ottobock), Christoph Kleiner (Hamburg Team)

Rehazentrum Junge and Ottobock sign contracts for treatment centre in Göttingen

After more than a decade, Rehazentrum Junge rehabilitation centre and med-tech company Ottobock will be sharing a location in Göttingen once again. Their new Patient Care Center will offer an ideal treatment concept for patients from around the world. The premises of the Sartorius Quarter will become home to a joint treatment centre covering a total of 3,800 square metres that will provide 360-degree patient care and serve as a hub of expertise in Göttingen.

Preparatory surgeries for prosthetic fittings can be carried out in nearby hospitals and clinics in Göttingen and the surrounding area where necessary. Orthotics and prosthetics professionals from Ottobock will then take care of adjusting and fitting devices. The expertise of Junge’s specialist employees and therapists will complement the fitting process, resulting in optimal rehabilitation.

The Sartorius Quarter will also offer accommodation in the form of smart apartments. Patients will be able to live in these small apartments for the duration of their stay, which may last up to six months. The Quarter is conveniently situated near Göttingen’s city centre with good access to transport.

Rainer Junge, Managing Partner of the rehabilitation centre of the same name, and its Managing Director André Weimer, Christoph Kleiner, Managing Director of the Hamburg Team project team and Sebastian Franzius, who is heading up the project at Hamburg Team, as well as Philipp Schulte-Noelle, CEO of Ottobock, Rolf Jarasch, Director Patient Care Ottobock and Project Manager, Dr Malte Bellmann, Head of Biomechanical Research were present at the signing of the contracts on 19 February 2020.

The contracts provide for the leasing of the building’s shell, which will be developed accordingly by the end of 2022. Plans for the building include treatment rooms that meet the requirements for neurological, orthopaedic and orthopaedic technology treatment and a process-optimised orthopaedic workshop equipped with digital fabrication technology. Ottobock’s Patient Care Center in Göttingen will be moving to the Quarter from its current location on Hermann-Rein-Strasse. Office space, research labs, a Service Center and co-working spaces will also be built. Rehazentrum Junge, which has its headquarters on Sprangerweg in Göttingen, is setting up an additional, specialised rehabilitation facility at the new site.

“We’re taking precisely the right step by sharing the same space and creating synergies that will give people back their mobility to the greatest possible extent. The Patient Care Center in the Sartorius Quarter is a unique, landmark project that will draw people from far beyond Göttingen,” says Ottobock CEO Philipp Schulte-Noelle.

“Göttingen is known as the city that creates knowledge – and this is exactly what we’re doing with this new centre: pooling expertise, gathering experiences and creating knowledge. And in all of this, our aim is to benefit the patients,” says Rainer Junge.

“We are very happy that two experts, Rehazentrum Junge and Ottobock, who perfectly match our central theme of ‘Educate, Build, Live’ and our focus on health care, will be enriching the Quarter,” said Dr Joachim Kreuzburg, Executive Board Chairperson of Sartorius.

360-degree international patient care

“By developing this new treatment centre, we’re also expanding what this location can offer our international clientele. We don’t just treat patients – we care for their every need. We want them to be able to concentrate on themselves during their stay with us,” says Project Manager Rolf Jarasch, Director Patient Care Ottobock, describing the concept. “Our patients receive end-to-end care. The primary focus is treatment based on orthopaedic technology and therapy. But our employees also take care of queries relating to transport, accommodation and visas and clarify the details with the respective embassies or the relevant organisations and ministries,” explains Jarasch.

The team is also there to assist with questions regarding recreational and everyday activities during the patients’ stays. Ottobock’s Patient Care Center in Duderstadt and, as of recently, the newly opened “Haus 4” on the Bötzow premises in Berlin are already working according to this concept. Each patient can choose their preferred setting – a large city, rural surroundings or the university environment.

Learning from patients – research and development

In addition to patient care and the treatment centre, Ottobock’s biomechanical research area is also moving into the new space. The aim is to develop products in a targeted way based on direct contact with the users themselves. “Obtaining direct feedback from users is extremely important to us starting in the early development stages. By conducting clinical and biomechanical testing on the functional quality of our devices, we also speed up our development times – and our users benefit, because we’re faster and better. This concept is a perfect fit in this respect,” says Dr Malte Bellmann, Head of Biomechanical Research at Ottobock. Ten researchers and developers in total will work at the new premises, which will also be home to a biomechanics lab with comprehensive measuring technology for analysing the interplay between users and the prostheses and orthoses. A range of clinical studies proving the effectiveness of med-tech products are required before they are ready for market or can be approved. The proximity between patient care, therapy in Junge’s specialist practice and research will simplify and accelerate this process.

Innovative rehabilitation programmes

Ottobock creates nearly unlimited possibilities for patients with the devices it fits – including high-tech prostheses and computer-assisted orthoses. In order for patients to make the most of this new freedom of movement despite paralysis or after an amputation, they need differentiated physiotherapy and occupational therapy as well as precise knowledge of the product – this expertise has been built up at Rehazentrum Junge in recent years and is only possible in this context. “By opening a new specialist practice, we’re bridging gaps in the treatment chain and want to continue enhancing our existing strengths,” says André Weimer, Managing Director of Rehazentrum Junge. “We also like the the idea of working as part of the Sartorius Quarter and want to tap into the idea of co-working spaces. Our aim is not to think in a conventional way in terms of products but rather focus on treatment from the perspective of services and bring players from various areas – medicine, therapy, orthopaedics, biomechanics and other specialisms – together under a single roof in future so we can enhance our treatment with new ideas and momentum,” says Weimer.

Digital workshop and Service Center

The fitting process is already digital to a large extent. Scanning techniques are used to take patients’ measurements for the subsequent socket alignment. Based on this, special milling robots fabricate the corresponding positive model at Ottobock’s headquarters in Duderstadt. In future, 3D printing will also be further expanded at iFab, a central digital fabrication facility for custom devices that is currently being built. The subsequent adjustments and modifications, in turn, will be carried out in Göttingen. “We’ll be focusing solely on fittings that have to be carried out here based on the person, the location and our network,” explains Jarasch. Ottobock also wants to offer added value for medical supply companies in Germany through its expertise and the technical possibilities offered by digital fabrication. At its Human Mobility Service Center, the company gives its customers the opportunity to obtain advice and exchange expertise in the areas of prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchair technology.

Rehazentrum Junge and Ottobock previously occupied the same premises for 14 years before moving to different locations. The Sartorius Quarter is now bringing them back together.

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Merle Florstedt

Spokeswoman and Head of Corporate Communications Europe

+49 5527 848 1771