EyeHealth 4.0 – Saxony’s network for digital communication between scientists, physicians, ophthalmologists and actors in and for health care Services

The visual centre of the human eye is increasingly affected by diseases causing blindness in industrial nations. Prevention, diagnostics and therapy as well as rehabilitation require digital solutions for data analysis: for continuous adaptation of therapies according to study results, for easy access to data and data analysis for physicians, for digital systems assisting in diagnostics and therapy guidelines, for patients’ registers, for patients’ information systems adjusted to the modern medical and scientific status, for platforms for quick and safe information exchange between all involved people.
Research ideas should be faster turned into applications and difficulties should be surmounted for this to happen. The present network of partners would like to develop a model from primary research up to clinical level using the widespread disease “age-related macular degeneration” (AMD) as an example. This model enables Saxony wide uniform interaction of all involved people at various points in time by using digital solutions

Contact us:

Smart Systems Hub GmbH
Postplatz 1
01067 Dresden
+49 351-48 18 88 97


Target Groups:

Clinics, ophthalmologists, user groups from business world; public relations, patients, research institutions; start-ups; rehabilitation, F&E of ophthalmological software companies with the focus on networking, software companies with focus on textmining, pharmaceutical groups and drug manufacturers.

Partners from research & industry:

NameTypeRolePartner contact
Ophthalmology Department Hospital Chemnitz gGmbHClinical research
Coordination macular centre,Koordination Makulazentrum, supplement of clinical dataProf. Dr. Katrin Engelmann
Dr. Frank Nüßler
PD Dr. Olaf Dirsch
Carus Consilium Sachsen   (6, 11)EnterpriseHealth region, network, telemedicineDr. Olaf Müller
Saxony Macular Centre (8, 11)Implementation, networkResearch, training, patient careProf. Dr. Katrin Engelmann
Computer science, Technical University Chemnitz, HS Mittweida (2)ResearchDevelopment of Machine Learning with clinical dataDr. Danny Kowerko
CWE Chemnitzer Wirtschaftsförderungs- und Entwicklungs-gesellschaft mbH (11)ImplementationStartupsAnett Voigt
Technologiezentrum Dresden (11)Research, start-up supportStart Ups, teamcompositionDr. Thorsten Fahrig
Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE) (2-4)ResearchTransfer of fundamental research up to clinical implenetation,
Dialogue with the public
Dr. Mike Karl
„Experimental Ophthalmology“, Anatomy Institute (2-4)Clinically applied researchTransfer of research, network for scientistsProf. Dr. Richard Funk
Stroer Deutsche Städte Medien GmbHEnterprise, public relationsDevelopment of systems for patients‘ information (on- and offline, model region), Public relationsMaria Garbe
Saxeed Life Science Inkubator (6)Start-up supportDevelopment and support in business creation projectsMarkus Braun
Dr. Frank Striggow
Vision support centre Chemnitz (SFZ) (8)EnterpriseDigital systems for visually impaired and blind peopleKatrin Hastreiter

Value Proposition:

The rate of blindness in Germany increases at older ages. By the year 2030, approximately 20 to 30% more cases of age-related eye diseases are expected. In 2012, there have been 4.884.000 patients with macular diseases (of degenerative character or diabetes-associated) in Germany alone. The estimated rise of 7.7 Mio additional cases of treatment in the population (after the age of 60) is a socio-economic challenge. Nowadays the direct costs of medication amount already more than 200-350 Mio Euro annually.

  • More diseases/rising costs -> saving time and costs by producing new IT-solutions in the area of data documentation, saving, software ergonomics principles, supporting systems for diagnostics and evidence based therapeutic decision approaches as well as development of guidelines for personalized medicine
  • Big data of patients with long-term therapies -> digital approaches for diagnostic and therapeutic support with contemporary and flexible visualization and intelligent data analysis
  • Further development of digital workplace environment in the ophthalmology medicine area
  • Supply of individual, customizable platforms for information and knowledge/li>
  • Creation of one central intelligent information access point for diverse ophthalmology/medicine-related user groups (sketch IdeaProduct) and exchange between the sectors and partners in the health care unit regarding individual access permissions
  • Stronger involvement of research ideas from the clinical setting into the medical technology research (Nationales Strategiepapier 2014)
  • Faster and better adoption of knowledge from clinical and fundamental research
Figure 1: Illustration of the value chain from the (medical) idea to the product, ©Prof. Dr. Katrin Engelmann


The labs, ophthalmology department, companies and task force of the partners form the stations of the trail. The Trail is available throughout the year in consultation with the partners.


The trail has stations in Dresden and Chemnitz and is designed for one or two half-days. Following stations can be visited:

  1. Carus Consilium GmbH: Demonstration of opportunities of telemedicine using ongoing projects as an example (Dr. Olaf Müller)
  2. Labs in Deutschen Zentrums für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE) in Dresden (head of the research group Dr. Mike Karl)
  3. Labs of Experimental Ophthalmology in Institute for Anatomy of the Technical University in Dresden (director: Prof. Dr. Richard Funk)
  4. Ophthalmology Department, Hospital Chemnitz gGmbH including IT-Department (senior consultant: Prof. Dr. Katrin Engelmann, head of the IT-Department: Dr. Frank Nüßler) as well as Vision Support Centre Chemnitz (SFZ)
  5. Labs/premises of the endowed junior professorship Media Computing and selected professorships of the faculty of computer science at TU Chemnitz (Dr. Danny Kowerko)

1. Demo: A presentation or a workshop on creating a digital network using existing platform „CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen“ as an example will take place. The aim is to be able to better use patient data, common quality management and support in therapeutic decisions. For further details please see https://www.telehealth-ostsachsen.de/.

2. Demo: The DZNE presents a stem cell model and focuses on developing methods for early diagnostics of degenerative diseases, especially of the eye and retina. The DZNE shows „Core Research Facilities & Services“ and is searching for solutions to improve the dialogue with society, patients and physicians. This helps to develop a better and faster transfer of research data into the clinical applications (Labdemo and presentation)
For further details please see (www.dzne.de (DZNE Know-how- DZNE in Dialogue)

3. Demo: The Institute for Anatomy together with the group „Experimental Ophthalmology“ at Technical University Dresden offer the opportunity to visit highly modern laboratories for cell and molecular biology with computer-assisted microscopy of living cells , PCR, electrophoresis. The main research focus lies on examining cells and tissues under the influence of physical factors such as light, electric and electromagnetic fields. Furthermore, research and development of technical surfaces and sensors for cell and tissue analysis is being performed.
For further details please see www.tu-dresden.derichard.funk@tu-dresden.de
Stakeholders: medical engineering, ophthalmologists, clinics, pre-clinical safety studies, preventive medicine, application of research data – presentation and laboratory management

4. Demo: The amount of digital data in the medicine is rising enormously fast. Digital data not only helps us in common diagnostics, it enables new diagnostic approaches at a higher level (location-independent, image analysis support, and quantitative image based diagnostics). In Hospital Chemnitz there are many departments and institutes, which are involved in this process. New methods for image acquisition and data storage are already used in the modern clinical diagnostics. However these opportunities have not yet been fully explored, especially the image analysis support is still in its initial phase. A digital system for data exchange using pathological data and images will be demonstrated.
For further details please see o.dirsch@skc.dek.engelmann@skc.def.nuessler@skc.dewww.klinikumchemnitz.de
Stakeholders: medical engineering, clinics, medical insurance, pharmaceutical companies, physicians.

5. Demo: The endowed junior professorship Media Computing (JPMC) develops their core competences within the project LocalizeIT in mass data processing and machine learning with strong focus on industrial video- and image processing and metadata management. Further, these technologies are ported and evaluated on mobile and embedded hardware like SoC (System on Chip) applications or mobile Raspberry Pi or Android-based solutions. The JPMC together with professorships „Computer Engineering“, „Media Informatics“ and „Distributed and self-organising systems“ gathered longstanding experience in developing flexible, user-centered software solutions also with industrial partners using modern browser and web applications.

Trail-Visitors may choose from the following options:

  • Lab tour in the faculty of computer science (Audio-Video-Laboratory, TV-Studio, Computer Pools, Server/Cluster- and university’s computation center infrastructure)
  • Talks:
    • topic-specific applications and software with selected example (e.g. from the field image processing)
    • technical solutions for networking, data security and software ergonomics
    • presentation of current research
    • digitale communications systems
  • Workshops:
    • Issue-specific educational workshops (e.g. Deep Learning, medical image processing)

Stakeholders: physicians, ophthalmologists, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, IT companies with focus on medical software research, telemedicine, network.

Current Projects:

  1. Integrated multiple sclerosis care portal (EFRE, CCS, TU Dresden, University Hospital Dresden),
  2. Telemedicine network for psychotraumatology Saxony (EFRE, CCS, TU Dresden, Uniklinikum Dresden),
  3. Integration of outpatient care into the stroke network East Saxony (EFRE, CCS, TU Dresden, University Hospital Dresden),
  4. Orthodontic network (EFRE, CCS, TU Dresden)
  1. „AMDD – further investigation of spectroscopy methods for detection of cell damage as a screening system for degenerative retinal and macular diseases“.
    Cooperation partners: Thalheim Spezialoptik, Biostep GmbH, STEP Sensortechnik,
    Funding: BMBF, SAB
    Future Project Development: method evaluation on patients with age-related macular degeneration, diabetes mellitus and glaucoma.
    Contact person: Prof. Funk (TU Dresden), Dr. Danny Kowerko (TU Chemnitz), Dr. Frank Striggow (Life Science Incubator)
  2. Development of a cell culture method for evaluation of media and substances as well as laser techniques (in cooperation with Fraunhofer FEP, Dresden, Fa. Novartis). For further information please see: www.tu-dresden.de/med/mf/ana
  3. DFG- and Exists- supported Projects for development of cell monolayers of corneal endothelium.
  4. BMBF-VDI and AIF-supported Projects for wound healing and electromagnetism.
  1. „OphthalVis- Data processing and visualization – New Tools for efficient medical care of degenerative retinal diseases“: Software prototypes were developed e.g. Universal OCT-Viewer for device-independent comparison of OCTs and jAMD for automatic diagnosis of AMD pathologies.
    Funding: Novartis GmbH
    Further Information: http://www.ophthalvis.de/´
    Contact: Dr. Danny Kowerko (TU Chemnitz), Prof. Marc Ritter (HS Mittweida), Prof. Paul Rosenthal (Universität Rostock)
    Envisaged project: „SCORE- Saxony‘s Cooperative Ophthalmology Research and eHealth Platform“: Network of Saxonian eye clinics and research institutions for the preparation of consistent mass data to develop a multimodal digital analysis systems for classification of patients’ courses of disease for patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) und Diabetic Retinopathy (DR).
  2. „LocalizeIT- Localization in audio-visual media“: The project is dedicated to automatic audio-, image- and video analysis in the context of industrial image processing using e.g. machine learning, especially deep learning techniques. Another focus is the management of heterogeneous data using current web technology.
    Funding: BMBF
    Further Information: localize-it.dehttps://www.unternehmen-region.de/de/8461.php, www.tu-chemnitz/informatik/mc
    Contact: Dr. Danny Kowerko (TU Chemnitz)
  3. „Miteinander“: In this project design tools are developed and used for the Internet of Things (IoT), e.g. optical, acoustic and mechanic sensors are utilized together with users in a participatory and critical way. One goal is to pave the way for better acceptance of IoT technology in smart home or ambient assisted living environments by creating a benefit for elder or handicapped persons.
    Further Information: http://nebeneinander-miteinander.de/,
    Funding: BMBF,
    Contact: Dr. Arne Berger (Professorship Media Informatics), arne.berger@informatik.tu-chemnitz.de
  4. „TOPOs – therapy prediction through analysis of patient data in ophthalmology“: This project is a network of the Averbis GmbH (text mining), the University Hospital in Freiburg, the University of Rostock and the University of Applied Sciences in Mittweida. Clinical report texts and OCT-images are used to model and predict individual courses of therapy.
    Funding: BMBF,
    Further Information: http://topos.averbis.de/
    Contact: Prof. Dr. Marc Ritter (University of Applied Sciences in Mittweida)
  1. Retina-Organoid-Project for better understanding the mechanisms of macular disease development as well as for therapeutic development. Using this model we can examine substances for treatment of retinal and macular diseases in an in vitro organ system of human retina for the first time.
    DFG-Support: cellular neuroscience.
    Further information: www.dzne.dewww.mokalab.de
    Contact person: Dr. Mike Karl (DZNE, Dresden), Dr. Dierk Wittig (DZNE Dresden, Hospital Chemnitz)

Opportunities for Projects and Funding Instruments:

Public support instruments:

  • SAB eHealthSax. InnoTeams
  • BMBF
  • ZIM
  • DFG

Entrepreneurial start-ups:

  • Life Science Incubator
  • Saxeed, Dresden Exsists, GWT

Services in industrial projects:

  • individual Research and development projects
  • direct oders
  • Medical Studies
  • Consulting

You are interested in this Trail? Contact us!