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Application Center for Automation in Healthcare

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Contact Data



Year Established



Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167, Mannheim (Germany)


Contact information

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Stallkamp
+49 621 17207 101



The Application Center for Automation in Healthcare is operated by the Fraunhofer Project Group for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology of Fraunhofer IPA. The project group was established by the state of Baden-Württemberg and Fraunhofer to develop new ideas for automation in medicine and biotechnology. The Application Center is used to conduct research and development for automation in healthcare applications. It is also used by companies to develop and test new automation applications in their own projects or to train medical staff. Today's demonstrators already show the beneficial use of robotics and other automation technologies to improve healthcare economics and patient outcome. 

The center is located at CUBEX41 at the heart of the University Hospital in Mannheim and pursues the following objectives:

1. Enable access to and cooperation with all medical and biotechnological facilities in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area for SME and large industries 

2. Establish automation in healthcare by joint research on demonstrators and showcases

3. Facilitate the translation of new technologies to medical applications through strong interaction with medical staff from university hospitals

4. To develop and test needs based solutions and to offer a complete spectrum of services from idea to clinical evaluation

The Application Center for Automation in Healthcare is fueled by several public and private funded projects. E.g. the Application Center receives funding via the BMBF Forschungscampus M²OLIE ( 

Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry

Fraunhofer is active member in the initiative „Forum Gesundheitsstandort Baden-Württemberg“ headed by the Ministerpräsident of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschman, dem Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Wohnungsbau ( dem Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst und dem Ministerium für Soziales und Integration to strenghten the medical technology industry in Baden-Württemberg. For more information please contact

Dr. Siegfried Jaumann
Wirtschaftsministerium Baden-Wuerttemberg
Referat 25:  Lebenswissenschaften
Theodor-Heuss-Str. 4, 70174 Stuttgart Germany
PHONE   +49 (0) 711 123 2468 FAX:    +49 (0) 711 123 2145


The regional Cluster for Medical Technology ( is dedicated to supporting Startups and small and medium size companies in developing their digital health products more efficiently and strictly oriented towards clinical routine practice. This includes educational formats, the formation of applied research consortia, providing special office, workshop and lab infrastructure as well as bringing together Startup/SME, large corporations and and clinicians for mutual commercial projects. The Fraunhofer Project Group for Automation in Medicine and Biotechnology based in Mannheim is instrumental to these activities of the Mannheim Medical Technology Cluster, and forms a core facility for reverse translation in the field of digiatl health from-bed-to-bench-to-bed. For more information please contact

Dr. Elmar Bourdon


Fachbereich für Wirtschafts- und Strukturförderung

Rathaus E5 | 68159 Mannheim

Mobil: +49 152 546 93 258

Tel.: +49 621 293 2155

Fax: +49 621 293 9850



Market and Services

Market sectors

  • Health and social work

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
  • Collaborative Researchs
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples

Development of a fully automated sorting device for zebrafish eggs

Client Profile: German Resilience Center & Focus Program Translational Neuroscience (FTN) University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (

Client Needs: Prior to the development of the new device the sorting of zebrafish eggs in the lab from petri dishes into microtiter plates was performed manually. Therefore a lab assistant had to pick the eggs from a petri dish one by one and sort them into the microtiter plate. This was a time consuming procedure and plans to scale up the whole process in numbers made it necessary to automate the task.

Provided Solution to meet the needs: Therefore engineers of Fraunhofer IPA developed a machine which detect the eggs in the petri dish by using machine vision. The developed machine then calculates which egg needs to be picked up next by taking into account the distances between the fish and by avoiding clusters of eggs which could have caused multiple fish to be picked up accidentally. Whenever necessary the machine would separate the clustered eggs to pick them up individually. The picked up fish would then be sorted into the microtiter plate. Once fully filled the plate could be transformed to the follow up process.

System for blood-sample-taking in the digital hospital


Client Profile: University Hospital Mannheim UMM, Department for Clinical Chemistry,

Client Needs: Taking blood samples is one of the most common medical standard working procedures in a hospital. The procedure consists of several steps that have to executed carefully: 1.) Reliable assignment of a blood sample to a patient 2.) Follow different protocols for different types of blood samples 3.) Ensure time and local (plus in future condition) sample tracking. Though the procedure of blood sample taking is part of the daily clinical routine, it is still highly prone to errors. This can result in incomplete samples, bad information for diagnosis, increasing workload for the medical staff and finally higher stress for patients, if procedures have to be repeated.

Provided Solution to meet the needs: In the project „LabCoder“ a mobile prototype-device including software was developed and delivered to UMM. The device provides an interface to the KIS (Krankenhaus Informations System) of UMM, so that the various taken-procedures can be pre-planned and can be done centrally. The device guides through the procedures. The sample-patient assignment and the measurement of time, environmental temperature and filling level is performed within a sensor slot of the device. The procedure has to be confirmed by the user and the information is send automatically to KIS and the LIMS (Lab Information and Mangements System) of the clinical lab. In the current status, the system was developed and tested in a pre-clinical test in UMM.

More details:

DICOM communication

Project-Name: Fusing data records to the DICOM standard

Client Profile: QIT Systeme GmbH & Co. KG is a leading IT service company in the fields of radiology, medical imaging and DICOM communication (

Client Needs: QIT wanted to augment the existing archiving technology based on DICOM by features for collecting raw data (e.g. sensor data from robotics) and contextual metadata (e.g. notes written by assistants during the intervention) for each relevant event in the intervention room and then fusing the semantic and temporal dimensions of corresponding activities/events.

Provided Solution to meet the needs:  In a joint project we helped QIT collecting the data and analyzing them while QIT adapted fused data records to the DICOM standard and archived them in their platform. A graphical interface developed by Fraunhofer PAMB retrieves and presents the fused data in situation-specific ways. This opens up new avenues for knowledge discovery and data analytics in intervention environments. The newly implemented DICOM classes secures QIT status as a leading IT service company.

Usability Tests of Clinical Software

Project-Name: Usability Tests of the OPASCA Check-in Terminal for Digital Patient Registration

Client Profile: OPASCA,

Client Needs: The registration of patients at clinics is not yet well digitized in Germany thus requiring unnecessary occupation of clinical staff and time. The SME OPASCA is developing a check-in terminal for patient registration similar to check-in terminals found in airports. The system is currently deployed in three clinics in Stuttgart, Freiburg, and Mannheim for general patient registration as well as for radio-oncological clinics.

Provided Solution to meet the needs: As part of private-public project, Fraunhofer is analyzing and testing the usability of the system at the university clinics of Mannheim. The test aim to identify weaknesses of the current implementation in order to improve user-friendly in future versions.

More details:

Modular automation platform for cell cultivation

Project-Name: ManuCyte

Client Profiles:

Client Needs: A high degree of automation is required to meet the rapid development of methodologies in personalized medicine for the future treatment of a wide range of diseases. Specifically, the human-specific cultivation and production on industrial scales is required, which was not possible at the beginning of the project. Cell cultivation is currently performed manually or in a semi-automated fashion on a laboratory scale. Such small-scale methodologies rely heavily on the accuracy, reproducibility, and efficiency of the process conducted by human technicians. Ensuring processed cells meet stringent quality criteria constantly is a key factor.

Provided Solution to meet the needs: The EU project ManuCyte aimed at the development of an integrated, intelligent, flexible and modular automation platform for cell cultivation in order to enable patient-specific cell cultivation in an industrial scale.

More details:


Organizational form

(part of) Public organization (part of RTO, or university)



Number of employees


Evolutionary Stage

Fully operational

Geographical Scope



  • National basic research funding
  • National specific innovation funding
  • Private funding



University Medical Center Mannheim

Partner Type


University of Mannheim

Partner Type


Medical Technology Cluster Mannheim

Partner Type

Regional government


Partner Type



Partner Type

Large enterprise


Leica Biosystems

Partner Type

Large enterprise


Partner Type



Partner Type


Carl Zeiss Meditech

Partner Type

Large enterprise

mint medical

Partner Type


University of Heidelberg

Partner Type



Partner Type

Research & Technology organization

Technological competences

  • Micro and nano electronics, smart system integration
  • Sensors, actuators, MEMS, NEMS, RF
  • Photonics, electronic and optical functional materials
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
  • Data mining, big data, database management
  • Simulation and modelling
Last updated: 06/09/18 06:14