PallMeT, the interdisciplinary "Palliative Medicine and Technology" working group of the Palliative Medicine Department of the University Hospital Erlangen, develops and investigates medical technology innovations that benefit palliative patients, their families and those involved in care. Thus PallMeT addresses challenges of our society such as growing palliative medical treatment needs, rising costs in the health sector, an ageing society and the depopulation of rural areas: palliative medical technological innovations should help to treat palliative patients appropriately and better, to support palliative medical professionals in their work, to save resources and to strengthen outpatient structures.
PallMeT combines basic technical and medical research with social, ethical and legal aspects and the clinical application of medical technology innovations.
One focus of PallMeT's research is the contactless and stressless detection of biomarkers using high-frequency signal processing. In the BMBF-funded project GUARDIAN, for example, breathing and heartbeat of palliative patients is recorded in a contactless manner from a distance of several meters using six-port radar interferometry. The aim of GUARDIAN is to detect changes in health immediately. This can support the optimization of palliative medical treatment in the future, since e.g. symptom load, drug effect and side effect as well as the dying phase can be better recognized.
Other PallMeT projects aim at the contactless detection of body movements and the activity of the autonomic nervous system. Among other things, this allows the effectiveness of non-drug treatment to be assessed as the basis of an individualised treatment plan. For example, PallmeT investigates the effect of music therapy on the autonomic nervous system in a self-financed study. This shows clearly the advantage of radar-based recording of heart rate variability as a surrogate parameter for the autonomic nervous system: The heartbeat is recorded through clothing and blankets at a distance of half a metre without affecting the patient.
PallMeT is headed by
Dr. med. Tobias Steigleder
Research partners of PallMeT:
Methods of clinical-experimental research: mixed-method research focusing application and user role/typology, explorative-quantitative basic research (e.g. sensor technology or AI), quantitative validation research on innovative procedures (e.g. radar, optical and other sensor technology, classification, AI-based approaches), Living Lab-based field studies of innovative medical technology.
Methods of ELSI research (ethical, legal and social implications): mixed-methods-based research of social science aspects of medical technology innovations, e.g. human-technology interaction, changes in human-human interaction, user roles and typology, acceptance and integration, promotion and hindrance factors of medical technology innovations, changes in collaboration and communication by technological innovations; we research ethical and legal implications in established cooperation with relevant experts, legal implications with Prof. Jäger, Chair STR3 of the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg and ethical implications with Prof. Mazeschke of the Protestant University of Applied Sciences Nuremberg (MEESTAR workshops), among others.