The Fraunhofer 4D concept
Health research is currently one of the most diverse scientific fields and will play a key role in developing innovative and intelligent solutions in healthcare over the coming decades. The development of innovative, interdisciplinary ideas is a prerequisite for success in this regard; however, this requires the harmonious convergence of the individual interfaces. New opportunities for translating novel and efficient treatment methods into concrete applications can be leveraged in the future if, for example, the various disciplines collaborate together in new ways.
Health research at Fraunhofer addresses the four key areas of medical science — »drugs«, »diagnostics«, »devices« and »data«, or 4D for short. Many innovations emerge at the interface between medical science, natural science, computer science and engineering. With its emphasis on transdisciplinary research, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft offers the perfect environment for close collaboration on health research and the development of cost-intelligent precision medicine for the benefit of patients.
One of the greatest economic challenges facing us in the decades to come will be the steadily rising costs of healthcare, which are already clearly visible thanks to demographic developments. Healthcare expenditure must be effectively limited and this requires not only a better medical understanding of the root causes of diseases but also — and above all — technology-driven innovations for effective prevention, diagnostics, treatment and care. Developing processes in healthcare that are both modern and cost-intelligent largely relies on innovations created at the interfaces of scientific disciplines.
Using new forms of collaboration, suitable platforms for translating new ideas into applications can be created, where industry and science work together across organizations and disciplines. The Fraunhofer 4D model thereby connects the expertise portfolio of different Fraunhofer institutes in a transdisciplinary approach in order to deal with the major fields of research in the healthcare sector.