Optimization in the Life Sciences: Mathematics Supports in the Health Sector
Optimization of Rescue Station Locations, Optimizing Medical Care in Rural Areas, Online Training for Mental Health, Therapy Decisions, Laboratory Diagnostics for Covid-19, Viruses in Tumor Therapy – these are all topics in which mathematics from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM provides support.
The »Optimization« division established a new department in 2022. It is headed by Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Küfer.
Dr. Alexander Scherrer is deputy head of the new department. »We have been successful for a long time with projects in medicine, health care, the nursing and social sector as well as medical technology – for example, we optimize therapy plans very effectively«, Scherrer reports. »In recent years, new subject areas have been added that have made it more necessary to form a separate department.« For example, the team uses applied mathematics to support the analysis of health data and brings suitable artificial intelligence methods to the table for this purpose. Systems to support decision-making for complex planning in medicine and care are also created in the department. In addition, the experts help companies from the medical technology sector with virtual design processes.
Building on Success and Methods
In terms of methods, the team »Optimization in the Life Sciences« builds on a foundation that has been developed over many years: »We have noticed time and again how much our success in the project benefits from the solution approaches and experiences from other projects. That is why we have combined our activities and practical knowledge of the field under the umbrella Optimization in the Life Sciences«, says Scherrer. This was also particularly important for external presentation: a new departmental website with numerous project examples picks up customers on a sector-specific basis. »In this way, we offer our cooperation partners a broad spectrum of mathematical and IT competences in combination with many years of industry experience, and individual, new solutions are created for the life sciences«.
More information on the versatile projects in »Optimization in the Life Sciences« of the Fraunhofer ITWM: