Who and what is needed to offer comprehensive care to people with missing limbs or with neuro-orthopaedic disorders? And what should this place offering care look like so that patients feel right at home? Ottobock has just the answers to these questions. On 20 February, the global healthtech company opened the doors to its most state-of-the-art and future-oriented clinic to date. Located in the newly developed Sartorius Quarter in the German city of Göttingen, the clinic will provide care for patients across the country and worldwide.
In addition to a modern orthopedic workshop, the Competence Center also has therapy rooms, a research laboratory and office space.
"From the very beginning, we planned the Patient Care clinic with the aim of providing our patients with the most complete and pleasant care and medical treatment pathway possible," explains Rolf Jarasch, Director Patient Care, Göttingen. A construction period of 18 months saw the creation of the Competence Center which combines a modern orthopaedic workshop, therapy rooms, a research laboratory and office space all under one roof.
Another special feature of the Patient Care clinic is the location itself: preparatory surgeries for prosthetic fittings can be carried out at the University Medical Center Göttingen and in nearby hospitals in the surrounding area where necessary. In this way, the cooperation with the UMG will be further intensified. What’s more, the Sartorius Quarter offers apartments in which the patients will be able to live for the duration of their stay, which may last up to six months. Underground car parks, shopping facilities, restaurants and a direct connection to public transport are additional benefits. All areas on the premises are entirely accessible.
Covering a total of 3,800 square metres, Ottobock is moving together with the Göttingen Rehazentrum Rainer Junge rehabilitation centre, which is expanding its outpatient rehabilitation programme to include additional neuro-orthopaedic treatments. Ottobock and the Junge rehabilitation centre have been working closely together for more than 25 years – and now the two companies are even moving into the same building.
The buildings in the immediate vicinity host the Life Science Factory as well as premises for the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts. As well as benefiting students, the new health campus will create further important synergies – through direct access to the Ottobock workshops and laboratories and the proximity to patients, for example.
"What we have created in the Sartorius Quarter is a true lighthouse project for the region," enthuses Professor Hans Georg Näder, Ottobock owner and honorary professor at HAWK. "This is a prime example of what profitable networking between science and business can look like and represents another step towards strengthening Göttingen as a location for life sciences."
In addition to patient care and the treatment centre, Ottobock’s biomechanical research area is also moving into the new space. This includes a lab with state-of-the-art measuring technology.
"The biomechanical research is a key element in the new development of our future-oriented products. This involves using scientific methods to illustrate the modes of action of orthopedic technical aids. For this, the proximity to patient care and university partners at the new location provides ideal conditions," says Prof Dr Malte Bellmann, Head of Biomechanical Research at Ottobock.
This means that patients will have access to the full range of treatment options – a concept that is unique in the region. At the same time, it paves the healthtech company’s way towards the future of patient care.
Ottobock orthotics and prosthetics professionals also implement digital and innovative technology in the adaptation and documentation of 3D scanning and 3D printing devices. This makes it possible to produce custom orthoses and prostheses quickly. To do this, O&P professionals scan the relevant body part and process the data on a computer. Time that was once spent on manual work on the plaster cast – often a complex task – can now be channeled into the fitting process. The data is then transferred directly to the milling machine and 3D printer, which minimises sources of error.
In the Ottobock workshop, the way of working is also changing in ways other than the use of digital solutions. As Rolf Jarasch explains: "Göttingen is proof that we believe in the technical orthopaedics of the future and have the courage to adapt our working methods accordingly. For example, our O&P professionals no longer work on individual workbenches. These have been tailored to the functions and activities being performed, enabling them to be used even more effectively. Given that the personal workbenches were often used as place to stop for a quick chat, we have created an alternative: the Work Café is now a communication hub for all our employees."
Oliver Jakobi, CEO of Ottobock, describes the clinic’s opening as follows: "The new Patient Care clinic represents the transformation Ottobock has undergone in recent years. The Ottobock.care umbrella brand is helping us to break away from the image of being purely a prosthesis manufacturer. Instead, it demonstrates our company’s lifelong passion of providing the best possible treatment options for our users worldwide."