SUND NEWS 5 September 2012
FOREWORD Summer is coming to an end and things are well underway again at the faculty, for both staff and students. We have 371 new bachelor students in our programs. In the next few months they will be introduced to their new study, classmates and teachers. Since about 60 percent of our new students do not have their qualifying examination from North Jutland, there will surely be many who will also have to get to know Aalborg. It’s an exciting but also challenging time where the students are probably going to need some good advice and a helping hand along the way. We at the faculty will do whatever we can to accommodate our new bachelor’s and master’s students so that they get the best start to their education. In general, application to our programs is stable and satisfactory. You can read more about this in the magazine. I will nevertheless point out that our medical program is in high demand. This year there have been 1,397 applicants for our 56 spaces. The enormous interest among young people is fantastic, but in spite of this the minister has not accommodated our - and the North Denmark Region’s – desire for more spaces in the medical program. We are starting a brand new master’s program in Public Health and approximately 30 students are beginning the program here in September. I look forward to following the program and hearing about the experiences of both students and teachers.
The establishment of the Department of Clinical Medicine and the collaboration on Aalborg University Hospital with the Region and the hospitals are going according to plan. We are fully underway in the process of recruiting staff for the department, and in this issue we bring you an interview with Stig Andersen, a specialist in medical endocrinology, who as of September is the new clinical coordinator of the medical program. In the next year, Stig Andersen is planning the clinical training – to be done by him and his colleagues – for the master’s students in medicine at Aalborg University Hospital who are starting in September 2013. Last but not least, the group exam has been reintroduced at AAU! Egon Toft
About SUND NEWS SUND NEWS is a staff magazine for all employees at the Faculty of Medicine, i.e., in the departments and the faculty administration. SUND NEWS is available to everyone on the website, and we hope that students in health science programs and internal and external partners will also find SUND NEWS relevant. Contributions to SUND NEWS are most welcome and should be sent to Cecilia Honores Møller at firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for the next issue of SUND NEWS is November 22, 2012
Content Ed u c at i o n a nd Te a c hing
R e s e a rc h
O rg a n i z ations & R e s ource s
In B r i e f
PhD Defense - at the Faculty of Medicine Jochen Schomacher, defended his PhD August 10, 2012 Project Title: â€?Neural control of the semispinals cervicis muscle and the influence of neck painâ€?
For more information: http://www.medicine.aau. dk/Research/PhD+defenses+2012/
Ed u cat io n a n d Tea ch i n g
Commencement 2012 New bachelor students meet at Gammeltorv in Aalborg
Ed u cat io n a n d Tea ch i n g
Summer graduates Plenty of wishes of congratulations, good advice and tips were given to graduates on Friday, June 29 at two graduation events. At the morning event, 42 graduates from the Master’s in Medicine with Industrial Specialization program were honored at Kroghstræde 3. Pro-rector Inger Askehave handed out diplomas and Michael Boserup, Project Manager from CCBR A/S (Centre for Clinical and Basic Research), was the guest speaker. Kasper Faurholt Raaby spoke for the graduates. The afternoon event took place at Fredrik Bajers Vej 7 and there were 11 graduates with master’s degrees in Sports Science, 24 from Biomedical Engineering and 4 from Clini-
cal Science and Technology. Again, Pro-rector Inger Askehave presented the diplomas. Guest speakers were Henrik Steen Hansen, HR Director, CSC Scandihealth, and Michael Andersen, Director, Team Denmark. Speeches from the graduates were given by Mie Hviid Simonsen and Mathias Vedsø Hansen. Both events concluded with a festive reception where the new graduates and their families celebrated the end of their formal education and that their diplomas were finally in hand.
Edu cati o n a n d Tea ching
Graduates in Health Informatics Graduation for the new masterâ€™s in Health Informatics was held June 28, 2012. This year produced 23 new graduates with a masterâ€™s (continuing education) in Health Informatics. Having all been to their final project exam the same day as the graduation ceremony was held, the ink on their diplomas was barely dry before Dean Egon Toft presented the diplomas and spoke. In keeping with tradition, the graduates tossed their caps in the air to mark the completion of their studies.
Edu cati o n a n d Tea ching
Admission of students to SUND programs 2012 By Jesper Franch, Director of Studies, School of Medicine and Health
Bachelor’s programs Af: Jesper Franch, studieleder, School of Medicine and Health
has also been nice progress in the Medicine with InApplication to bachelor’s programs as a whole in 2012 was Sundhedsteknologi 38 There 26 25 dustrial Specialization program; Sports Science has howin line with the level in 2011. Admissions to Biomedical Engineering increased from 26 56 Medicin
ever experienced a decline in the number of applicants.
Medicine was again this year a very popular program. in 2011 to 38 in 2012, which is gratifying. There have been There were 24.9 applicants for each of the 56 spaces in the significant efforts from various sources such as the school’s Idræt 167 that Medicine, by133 this measure, is program counselors to raise awareness of the engineering149program, which means the top scorer in Denmark. To be admitted to Medicine in program in biomedical engineering, and there has been must have a 10.9 average great interest the program at fairs and in connection128Aalborg students 108 Medicin medinIndustriel Specialisering 84 on the qualifying exam, which is identical to the level in Copenhagen with Study Tryout Days (formerly Bridge Building). and higher than in other medical programs in Denmark.
Overview of the distribution of admissions to SUND programs There are 371 applicants who have accepted a place in a program, while 23 have yet to respond as to whether they wish to use the place they have been offered, a total of 394. The table below shows the distribution among bachelor’s programs for those who have accepted a place in 2012. In individual programs, there can be more students than shown in the table below, since there are also students from previous years’ intake who are restarting.
Medicine with Industrial Specialization
Table: Number who accepted a place in a bachelor’s program (as of 27-08-2012).
Ed u cat io n a n d Tea ch i n g
Where are they from? Programs as a whole at the Faculty of Medicine are comprised of students with Danish citizenship (92.6%). In Medicine with Industrial Specialization, 83.1 percent have Danish citizenship, 7.4 percent have citizenship from third world countries, 3.7 percent have Nordic citizenship and 3.8 are other nationalities. In Medicine, 92.9 percent of the students have Danish citizenship, 3.6 percent have Nordic citizenship and 3.6 percent have citizenship from other countries. In Sports Science all students have Danish citizenship.
More students from Central and Western Jutland The proportion of students from North Jutland schools has been declining in recent years. By contrast, in 2012, there have been more students particularly from Central and West Jutland. In 2010, 49.2 percent of the students came from a qualifying educational institution located in Northern Jutland; in 2011, the figure was 43.5 percent and in 2012, 39.3 percent. That is, the majority of students at the Faculty of Medicine do not come from North Jutland.
Distribution of men and women There are equal numbers of men and women starting in SUND programs in 2012. However, there are changes in the gender composition of individual programs. Most notable is Medicine, where 80.4 percent of those admitted in
2012 are women. In Medicine with Industrial Specialization the corresponding figure is 72.8 percent. The table below shows the distribution of men and women in 2012 compared to 2011.
Medicine with Industrial Specialization
Table: Gender in percent, in 2011 and 2012, per program and total.
Ed u c at io n a n d Tea ch i n g
Master’s programs Application to the new master’s program in Public Health has been good. Some of these applicants had to supplement with courses in statistics and epidemiology in order to be admitted. Twenty-nine applicants have participated in supplementary courses that the school has offered over the summer and concluded at the end of August. 32 students will start the Master’s in Public Health program. Number of students enrolled in all master’s programs:
Antal Clinical Science and Technology Biomedical Engineering
13 12 + approx. 10 international
Sports Science and Sports Technology
15 + 3
Medicine with Industrial Specialization
Table: Number admitted to master’s programs in 2012.
Ed u cat io n a n d Tea ch i n g
New clinical coodinator will produce the world’s best doctors Stig Andersen is the newly appointed clinical coordinator at the Faculty of Medicine. Stig Andersen will help to ensure that AAU’s master’s students in medicine are trained to be the world’s best doctors. - We will educate the world’s best doctors at Aalborg University Hospital. It may well be that it sounds like something you’ve heard before or something you shouldn’t say because of Jante Law, but it’s true. In the future, the world’s best doctors come from Aalborg University, opens Stig Andersen. Stig Andersen starts as clinical coordinator at the Faculty of Medicine in September 2012. Previously, he worked six years as a specialist at Department of Endocrinology and six years as Director of the Center for Arctic Research in Greenland at Aalborg Hospital. He will maintain his post at the Center for Arctic Research in Greenland while he is clinical coordinator at the faculty. - My new job as a clinical coordinator consists of planning the clinical instruction for the master’s students in Medicine starting in September 2013. The work is conducted in conjunction with other assistant professors and professors at the faculty. In addition to planning the teaching, I will also contribute to the clinical training at Aalborg University Hospital. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and think this is a great opportunity: to be able to shape and impact the next generation of doctors, he says.
ward to getting to work. He has many ideas on how the clinical training can be structured both to ensure students the right skills and inspire them to think about further development of the field. - I have a great clinical foundation which is a clear advantage in my new job teaching future physicians. I have 40 years of experience after only 20 years of work. I enjoy the work and have given it full throttle for many years, which has meant that my 20 years have doubled. At least. During my many years in the profession, I have seen and learned a great deal both in Denmark and Greenland that I will use in teaching students, says Stig Andersen and reveals that, among other things, he will teach students to believe in themselves as doctors. Stig Andersen compares his nature with that of the polar bear that, when it feels good, is always in motion. - I feel best when I am learning and experiencing something new. I find it hard to stand still – even professionally. When I am faced with a patient, I naturally think of both teaching and development, says Stig Andersen, who is looking forward to again doubling his length of service as a doctor - this time for the Faculty of Medicine.
Stig Andersen and his colleagues will have one year to plan the instruction that will make the future master’s students into the world’s best doctors. Stig Andersen is looking for-
Lars Stig Andersen • • • • • • • •
MD University of Aarhus 1993 PhD Aalborg University 2002 Medical Specialist in Medical Endocrinology 2006 Staff Specialist, Department of Endocrinology, Aalborg Hospital 2007-2012 Director of the Centre for Arctic Research in Greenland, Aalborg Hospital 2006 - present Father of four children ages 16, 15, 14 and 12 Speaker and teacher countless times External examiner at Aarhus, Odense and Copenhagen universities
Ed u c at io n a n d Tea ch i n g
Dream job created during studies Three enterprising students in Sports Science created their dream job during their studies. With courage and determination they went after their dream, and today they are business owners of the successful pulsevent. - We’ve been busy. Really busy. It’s hard to start your own business while you’re still studying. We’re ambitious and want quality in our work, in both pulsevent and our education, so we’ve put a lot of effort into both the past couple of years, opens Mattis Curth, one of the owners of pulsevent. In 2010, the three sports science students Mattis Curth, Mikkel Curth and Lasse Kjeldsen, as well as three additional partners, established pulsevent in Aalborg, which creates athletic games and sports experiences for companies and employees. - The reason we chose to start pulsevent was that we thought that Danish team building businesses lacked an alternative to the typically offer adventure-inspired sports activities. Staff in these businesses often have training from the Danish Defense and thus have a different approach to sport than we have with our training in sports science. With our background, we tie in the pedagogical angle of our program and offer customized sports activities where play is the focal point, says Mattis Curth.
More customers and more offerings Since 2010, things have moved fast for pulsevent. During the first two years, the owners expanded their offerings to include talks on professional football as major league player Jeppe Curth is among the partners, as well as “pulsskolen” which is held every other year during the summer holidays. Pulsskolen is where children and young people try various known and unfamiliar sports for one week in the summer. The many activities and experiences that pulsevent now offers have been so popular that the young owners find it difficult to meet the high demand.
Play as the focal point
- Getting customers for pulsevent has gone faster than expected. We’ve had to say no several times to interested parties because we’ve been fully booked with events – not to mention projects for our studies. We will not compromise on the quality of our work, either in pulsevent or our university projects, and so that means that right now we cannot take on all the tasks that are knocking on our door, says Mattis Curth.
Pulsevent’s vision is to motivate staff in various companies to take a few hours off work for physical exercise with colleagues. Pulsevent’s sports activities are organized with knowledge about the company’s staff.
Mattis Curth and Lasse Kjeldsen are in the 5th semester studying Sports Science, and Mikkel Curth graduated in Sports Science in 2012 and is currently teaching at Nordjyllands Idrætshøjskole.
- We strive for inclusion in our sports activities. Therefore, we organize activities in consultation with the company, so we ensure that everyone can participate - regardless of age and physical condition. Among other things, we use inspiration from our work with sports for the disabled, says Mattis Curth.
Pulse Event has customers in both private and public companies and organizations. Its counts among its customers University College of Northern Denmark , BDO, Nordjyllands Idrætshøjskole, Round Table, Danish University of Education, DGI-huset and many more.
When the activities have to be planned with each customer, the three owners of pulsevent use knowledge and inspiration from their education. - Particularly knowledge about motivation means that we are always trying to target our activities to employees so they are motivated to participate in the activities and that motivation can be maintained. Play is the focal point of our activities because play both spreads joy and creates motivation. It should be fun to participate in sports, and play can help ensure this, explains Mattis Curth. More information about pulsevent http://www.pulsevent.dk/
Mikkel Curth, Lasse Kjeldsen og Mattis Curth - three students established the company pulsevent in 2010.
R e s e arch
SUND på eHealth Week 2012 By Debbie Pedersen, Administrative Officer, Empowering Industry and Research (eir)
SUND took part in this year’s eHealth Week with a stand at the World of Health Information Technology (WoHIT) exhibition. The stand attracted great interest among the conference participants, and faculty researchers had the opportunity to discuss developments in welfare technology with health innovators from all over Europe. eHealth Week 2012, the largest annual gathering of health innovators in Europe, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen May 7-9. More than 2,500 delegates attended the event that included workshops, talks, networking sessions and a concurrent exhibition, WoHIT where private and public partners from health care were presented. SUND shared a stand at the WoHIT exhibition with the Danish Center for Health Informatics. The School of Medicine and Health, eir - Empowering Industry and Research, and the newly established e-Health Tech Center were represented. The combination with the Danish Center for Health Informatics proved very successful. The stand was well attended and many networking opportunities arose during the three-day exhibition. Faculty researchers and representatives met with companies, healthcare professionals from industry, care pro-
fessionals and others from all over Europe and took the opportunity to discuss the development of welfare technology and IT health solutions - and not least, the dissemination and implementation of these. AAU Innovation also contributed to the many networking activities at the exhibition and coordinated meetings between faculty representatives and health researchers from other universities and from industry. Daniel Johansen, PhD student at the Faculty of Medicine, demonstrated an example of research in welfare technology: a robotic hand controlled with the help of a heavy control system. Another research project presented was Charlotte Bjørnes’s “online patient book”, which has already been implemented at Aalborg Hospital. Charlotte is an assistant professor at the Department of Development and Planning.
WoHIT (World of Health IT) is a European ICT Forum under the EU and is aimed at anyone with an interest in information technology for the healthcare sector – from companies in the medical device industry, the IT industry and the pharmaceutical industry to the end users of technology, healthcare personnel and hospital management to health policy decision makers in ministries, agencies and regions.
e-Health Week is an annual international event organized by the EU and the non-profit organization HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems) and the country holding the EU presidency. e-Health Week has a new main topic every year. This year the topic was coherent healthcare - from treatment and care in the patient’s home to admission to hospital and discharge to the home.
Topics at the exhibition this year were patient empowerment and chronic diseases – both issues involving the business community and investment opportunities in many different areas of health research. A total of 98 exhibitors were represented.
R e s e arch
Great success with Expert Scientific Meeting SUND hosted the international Expert Scientific Meeting 2012 in Aalborg August 1-4. The conference was a great success and attracted interest among international researchers for future collaboration. This year the faculty’s sports technology researchers organized the Expert Scientific Meeting in conjunction with the research and business park eir. One hundred and thirty researchers from North and South America, Australia, Asia and Europe, from various scientific areas, gathered in Aalborg to discuss technology that can overcome sports injuries and disease induced problems. The four-day conference had an interdisciplinary focus. Topics and discussions ranged widely from load distribution under the foot, to sports equipment, to new perspectives for the use of technology and textiles for sports injuries, to treatment of diseases and injuries caused by diseases like cancer, diabetes and poor circulation. The conference was organized around talks and workshops. The four keynotes were given by Faculty of Medicine Professor Thomas Sinkjær, Director of the Danish National Research Foundation; Professor Julie Steele of the University of Wollongong, Australia; Professor Rami J. Abboud of the University of Dundee, Scotland; and futurist Anne Skare Nielsen, director and partner in the company Future Navigator.
Researcher Roelof Waaijman and researcher Karsten Engel recieving their award
The purpose of Expert Scientific Meeting 2012 was to discuss how technology for sports accidents can also be used in the general population to overcome infirmities caused by diseases such as diabetes and poor circulation. Knowledge was thus shared across disciplines, such that researchers’ experience gathered from elite athletes can also benefit the population – and vice versa.
The conference also featured a tour of the AAU campus and the laboratories at the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI). At previous Expert Scientific Meetings, there hasn’t been much focus on the tour of the campus and the laboratories. We chose to do it this time and it proved to be a success. People were excited about our equipment in the laboratories and in particular about the interdisciplinary approach we practice at the university – both in research and teaching. We have already received several inquiries from participants or their colleagues about collaborative opportunities in the future, says Uwe Kersting, Associate Professor and coordinator of this year’s conference.
Awards Four awards were given out during the conference – Art in Science, Best Poster, Best Presentation and Most Promising Proposal. The Art in Science award, the main award of the conference, is given for a new and creative approach to research. This year, the Art in Science award was shared by Dutch researcher Roelof Waaijman of the University of Amsterdam and German researcher Karsten Engel of the German Sport University Cologne. Waaijman and Angel shared the award for their study of clinical intervention in patients with diabetes specific foot problems.
Tour de Aalborg Uwe Kersting and his colleagues who organized the conference arranged the talks and workshops at various cultural sites in Aalborg and vicinity including the Utzon Center and KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art. Organizing activities across the city was also a success. People were impressed with the various sights. We were even lucky enough to be at the Utzon Center while both Universitarium and an exhibition of the upcoming Aalborg University Hospital were being held, which the participants had the opportunity to see and experience during breaks, says Uwe Kersting.
Best gist sity foot
Poster this year went to American anthropoloRoshna Wunderlich of James Madison Univerfor her research in and unique knowledge of structure without the influence of footwear.
Best Presentation went to Dutch researcher Sicco A. Bus from the University of Amsterdam for a clear, well-structured presentation about a study on footwear for diabetics. Most Promising Proposal went to Sabata Gervasio, PhD student at the Faculty of Medicine, for her project focusing on the importance of crossed reflexes in the legs which can be very important for the control of walking patterns.
Several conference participants sent words of praise to Uwe Kersting and his team behind the Expert Scientific Meeting for the organization of this year’s conference in Aalborg. The content and scope of the conference were both relevant and exciting
R e s e arch
Meet the winner of “Most Promising Proposal” – Italian PhD student Sabata Gervasio Sabata Gervasio, PhD student at the Faculty of Medicine, 28, is from Rome, Italy. She has an academic background in electronic engineering with a biomedical focus. Sabata Gervasio won the Most Promising Proposal award, which was accompanied by a cash award of 1000 euros, at the Expert Scientific Meeting.
What is the goal of your PhD project?
How can or will you use the award in your work?
The primary aim of my PhD project is to study the neural circuitry that connects our two legs when we walk. In my project, I try to shed light on how the central nervous system controls movement and coordination between the two legs. The result of the project is hopefully useful for the development of new methods of rehabilitation for people who exhibit an asymmetrical or unsteady gait after a lesion of the central nervous system such as stroke or spinal cord injury.
I will re-invest both the money and the positive experience that I have had at this special event in my research. I hope that both will help to make my work even better.
What was it like to win “Most Promising Proposal?” I was surprised and delighted when I heard that I had won the award. I decided to submit my project at the last minute, so I did not expect to win. I thought of the participation more as a kind of exercise for me than a chance to win. I’ve done my best, and it’s great to get such recognition for my work. With this award, I feel even more committed and ready to put even more effort into my research.
Associate Professor Uwe Kersting receiving the award on behalf of Sabata Gervasio.
Joint effort on new research forum A number of researchers at Danish universities and research institutions including the Faculty of Medicine AAU have established a new research forum, Research Forum for Health IT. The forum is for Danish researchers doing non-commercial research in health informatics.
The idea for the Research Forum for Health IT originally came from researchers Christian, Department of Development and Planning and Stig Kjær Andersen, Department of Health Science and Technology. In conjunction with colleagues from Copenhagen Business School, Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Institute for Health Services Research, IT University of Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University and Aarhus University, the idea became concrete, and in 2012 the collaboration on the new research forum began.
The purpose of the research forum is knowledge sharing and development of new activities. The knowledge sharing and exchange of experience that takes place in the forum benefits not only researchers; the regions, industry and other interested parties can also benefit from researchbased knowledge in the field of health IT. The researchers collaboratively develop new activities including PhD courses and seminars offered through the research forum. A range of courses are open to all.
The research forum is administered by the Danish Center for Health Informatics (DaCHI), located at AAU. DaCHI is engaged in research, development, consulting and teaching for the health sector.
The research forum is open to researchers who are employed at a research and teaching institution in Denmark. In addition, membership requires that the researcher is engaged in non-commercial research.
Read more about the forum: http://sundheds-it-forskerforum.dk/
R e s e arch
Lions Award to Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Director of the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, received this year’s Lions Award for his efforts benefitting chronic pain patients. The award was presented by HRH Prince Henrik at Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg a hyperexcitable state that can cause patients to still experience chronic pain after an operation that was otherwise technically successful.
Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen and his research group at the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction were recognized for commended for their great effort in developing knowledge and practical treatment for pain patients in Denmark. The research team was also praised for having the world’s largest and most productive research center for pain research, with well-developed international contacts, that has helped to increase global knowledge of pain patients’ conditions.
We hope that our measurements before an operation can be developed to become so refined that we can predict whether a given patient’s pain system is in a condition that makes them more likely to develop chronic pain after surgery. Chronic pain after an operation affects between 10 and 50 percent of all patients depending on the type of operation. So there are many people that can be helped. Particularly if with the technology we can also find a treatment that normalizes the pain system’s condition before surgery, and thus hopefully reduce the number of patients affected by this type of chronic pain, says Lars ArendtNielsen.
The year’s Lions Award of 250,000 kroner will go to a research project at three hospitals in Northern Jutland investigating the impact of osteoarthritis on the pain system. I am grateful to have received the recognition of the Lions Award 2012 of 250,000 kroner. The money will be invested in our research project that will give us an understanding of why many patients with osteoarthritis of the knee still have chronic pain after they have had surgery and have gotten a new knee, says Lars Arendt-Nielsen.
The Lions Award is given by Lions Denmark, an international NGO that was established in 1917 in the United States and came to Denmark in 1950. Lions Denmark is dedicated to fostering community understanding and peace and donates approximately 35-50 million kroner annually for humanitarian purposes including the Lions Award. In Denmark, the Lions Award is given to individuals or institutions to contribute to research and development works of a medical, cultural and social nature that improve the living conditions of Danish citizens.
The research group has developed high-technology quantitative measurement methods to be used to study the changes happening in the pain system when someone has chronic pain such as with osteoarthritis. The research group presumes that these changes put the pain system in
R e s e arch
A pioneer in medical decision support systems The faculty’s Center for Model-based Medical Decision Support is one of the world leaders in research and development of medical decision support systems for the health care sector. The center has several patents and spin-off companies in North Jutland. The Center for Model-based Medical Decision Support, known as MMDS, is one of four research centers and groups under the Department of Health Science and Technology. The center is a pioneer in the development of medical decision support systems that are used to save lives worldwide.
From research to results The research in medical decision support systems has resulted in a number of decision support systems including: The system INVENT helps the doctor find the respirator treatment that gives the patient adequate ventilation while reducing the load from mechanical ventilation as much as possible. Clinical use of INVENT is expected soon. on funds from the Danish Technical Research Council, the EU’s Fifth Framework Program as well as commercial partners.
Medical decision support systems can be used in hospitals to support physicians and other healthcare personnel to ensure appropriate clinical care of patients. Decision support systems work out the most appropriate respirator treatment of intensive care patients, the choice of antibiotics for patients with infection and the control of blood glucose in patients in intensive care units.
Mathematical calculation of treatment
The system TREAT advises on the antibiotic treatment of patients with severe acute bacterial infections. Tests have shown that TREAT gives advice that is better than clinical practice, and that a hospital that installs TREAT, can save about a hundred lives and save several thousand bed days each year. The company Treat Systems currently markets the TREAT system.
Medical decision support systems are software systems that are connected to the hospitals’ own IT systems. The software consists of mathematical models of the relevant physiology. In a consultation situation, health personnel enter information about the patient’s condition into the system after which system’s models calculate the most likely outcome of different treatments for the patient. Then, the system uses decision theory to determine the best treatment for the patient. Computer systems thus help medical staff to determine which treatment the individual patient will best be served by.
The system Glucosafe helps reduce blood sugar in intensive care patients with high blood sugar and helps to administer tube feeding to patients. Both blood sugar and nutrition are important for patients’ chances of surviving a stay in the intensive care unit and clinical trials have shown that Glucosafe is better than clinical practice when it comes to keeping blood sugar low and stable.
The center is headed by Professor Steen Andreassen and the staff includes nine researchers, students and technical and administrative personnel. Professor Andreassen is currently on half-time leave of absence from his position as head of the center to dedicate time to his position as director of the company Treat Systems in Aalborg. Treat Systems is a spin-off company that markets the system TREAT, developed from research at MMDS.
MMDS collaborates with numerous institutions and companies in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Israel. Research activities are based on funds from the Danish Technical Research Council, the EU’s Fifth Framework Program as well as commercial partners.
The research center was established at AAU in 2000. The center’s purpose is:
• to conduct clinical trials that show the systems’ impact
• to conduct research and contribute to research train-
on treatment and costs
ing and other programs
• to promote the clinical and commercial deployment
• to develop decision support systems that address
of medical decision support systems by supporting the development of a local cluster of companies in this area
important clinical problems
R e s e arch
Spin-off companies Over the years, Steen Andreassen, in conjunction with his research group, has had a unique ability to see commercial opportunities in the computer systems that have been developed based on the research. Since 1981, he has established a spin-off company every five years in North Jutland. The research center has a poster with a tree of companies that have been based on the center’s research: Judex Datasystemer A/S (1981), Hugin Expert A/S (1989), Cephalon A/S (1997), Mermaid Care (2000), OBI ApS (2002) and Treat Systems ApS (2008).The six successful spin-off companies have yielded a number of products that have significant influence on daily life in hospitals worldwide. In 2011, Steen Andreassen received the ICT innovation award, BrainsBusiness Award, for his efforts in the development of the North Denmark IT cluster through his research.
The center’ staff prepares courses for and teaches in: Biomedical Engineering, Sports Science, Medicine and Medicine with Industrial Specialization, Clinical Science and Technology. In addition, the center offers courses for PhD students
“I graduated from Biomedical Engineering in 2006. Since then I have been employed at the Center for Model-based Medical Decision Support. My research as well as my teaching range from sports science to medicine with a focus on measurement technology, mathematical physiological modeling and understanding of lung physiology. My current research involves the measurement of the lung musculature’s work in athletes during high intensity training and the use of models of lung physiology in decision support systems to aid physicians in setting a respirator. I have ample opportunity to work with applicationoriented and interdisciplinary research, and I work with several other research groups, hospital departments and businesses, nationally and internationally.”
Dan Stieper Karbing, PhD, Associate Professor at MMDS
O rga n i z ati o n s & R eso u rce s
High pulse rate and fighting spirit during work time TAP staff at the Faculty Office elevated both their pulse rate and their mood when pulsevent put them on the playing field in the middle of the work day. Rallying cries, laughter and cheers could be heard from afar when about twenty TAP staff gathered on the lawn on a summer’s day in front of Kroghstræde 3 at AAU for a different type of collegial togetherness. Pulsevent, a company specializing in active experiences and events for companies, engaged the staff in ball games that made them work up a sweat and brought out their fighting spirit. - Our activities help to increase fellowship among employees in a healthy and fun way. We think it’s healthy for employees to experience each other outside the normal working environment in activities that can bring out other sides in them, says Lasse Kjeldsen from pulsevent. Colleagues indeed showed entirely different sides of themselves on the lawn in front of Kroghstræde 3 than are typically seen at the faculty office. The lively fighting spirit came out in things like assault maneuvers and rowdy rallying cries for team efforts.
The honor was the prize Pulsevent had tailored three different ball games for TAP employees that did not require major sports skills. They were divided into two teams to compete against each other. There was no prize. The winning team could count themselves lucky with just the honor. That honor was enjoyed to the fullest by the winning team led by Birgitte Bisgaard Nielsen from Communication at the faculty office. - We had an afternoon of intense fun and competition between colleagues with room for even those of us without much skill at handling a ball. It was really fun and a good experience that we still talk about and tease each other about, says Birgitte Bisgaard Nielsen.
The winning team rejoiced over the honor, and the losing team was forced to form a triumphal arch with their hands while the winning team went through. 18
O rg a n i z ati o n s & R eso u rce s
DHL race made for togetherness The Department of Health Science and Technology took part in the DHL Relay Race on Thursday August 30, 2012 with six teams: one walking team and five running teams. Three brave women from Computer Science, the IT department and the faculty office had arranged for AAU t-shirts and an AAU tent for the day. The Department of Health Science and Technology had a coordinator who was responsible for the overall registration and coordination of participants including six team captains who took charge of their teams of five people each. The day was a great experience. In the AAU tent, 500 employees gathered in green t-shirts, and out in Kildeparken people cheered on both their own team and the others in the green AAU shirts. In the corner of the AAU tent, the department had its own little community with the six teams, where employees who donâ€™t work together every day got to know each other better. Each running team also had a supportive community assembled to send the runners off, cheer along the way and welcome them at the finish line. Then there was communal dining by torchlight on boxed food and red wine in cartons, after the last man/woman crossed the finish line. - It was one of the best collegial sports experiences the department has had, so weâ€™ll probably do it again next year if the three brave women also are on the field, says Else Ramsgaard, Information Officer at the Department of Health Science and Technology.
Nordic Summer School 2012 â€“ Patient Safety By Line Maj Jensen, Academic Officer, School of Medicine and Health
Did you walk past seminar room D2-106 Frederik Bajers Vej 7 one day in week 32 or 33? And did you wonder about the wide open windows and the hum of voices from speakers and students? If you looked in then you saw an interesting gathering - listening, talking, questioning and debating. It was a bunch of happy and positive but also weary parA total of 19 students from universities and university colleges in Norway, Sweden and Denticipants who left the Summer School on Friday August 17. The course was highly praised in terms of the content and mark were gathered for Summer School, where organization, the commitment of instructors and project for 12 days they were occupied with patient safety By Line Maj Jensen, Academic Officer, School of Medicine and Health supervisors, and active student participation. The course and quality development in the health care system. was also praised for its interdisciplinarity and for bringing The academic program was tightly packed in the barely together participants across programs including Medicine, MedIS, Nursing, Political Science and Public Health. Partwo weeks. Weekdays offered two or three presentations ticipants felt they had been inspired by and had learned a on topics such as patient safety culture, patient empowergreat deal from each otherâ€™s different approaches and inment, statistical quality control and clinical microsystems. sights during the course. Participants also worked in project groups with current clinical issues and relevant problems. There was collaboNordic Summer School 2012 - Patient Safety was held at ration with Aalborg Hospital, and hospital staff were inAAU, August 6-17, 2012. The summer school was organvolved in defining problems, were available for sparring ized in conjunction with the Danish Society for Patient and interviews, and participated in the final day of the Safety and Students for Safe Patients. course where the project groups presented their work to each other. Participants also visited Thy-Mors Hospital one Summer School - Patient Safety again next year? The reday during the course where they learned how hospital decently completed summer school will be evaluated in the partments are working to increase patient safety, includcoming period. Plans for Summer School 2013 can be foling by reducing the incidence of bedsores and preventing lowed on the website. medication errors. Thy-Mors Hospital participates, as one of five hospitals in Denmark, in the Patient-safe Hospital project (2010-2013).
Read more about Summer School: http://www.smh.aau.dk/Summer+School+2012
Policy for appointing professors and associate professors as adjunct academic staff at the Faculty of Medicine The Academic Council has adopted a policy for appointing professors and associate professors as adjunct academic staff at the faculty. The policy establishes general guidelines for when appointment occurs and how the affiliation with a research group, department and faculty is best supported in order to maximize mutual benefit. All adjunct professors are connected with a contact person who will help to maintain and develop collaborative research and publishing. Guidelines have been prepared for affiliation with the adjunct professors. See the guidelines here: http:// www.medicine.aau.dk/Official+documents/Policies/ Adjunct professors are presented on the website with a brief description of each professor, their research field and workplace. The website is currently under construction. For proposals on appointing new professors and associate professors as adjunct academic staff, a recommendation must be prepared that explains why this person is a desirable appointment. A template for the recommendation has been made that departments must use. See the policy on the appointment of adjunct academic staff and the template for the recommendation on the faculty’s website: http://www.medicine.aau.dk/Official+documents/Policies/
See the adjunct academic staff on the faculty’s website here: http://www.medicine.aau.dk/Research/Adjunct+professors
Brochure on the PhD program - at the Faculty of Medicine
Joint AAU elective courses For the second year in a row, AAU is running elective courses for students in 9th semester. The basis for running AAU electives is student desire. Teaching is conducted on Friday afternoons or other days at 16.00.
A new brochure on the PhD program at the Faculty of Medicine has been produced. The brochure describes the programs at the doctoral school, with a special focus on the Clinical Science and Biomedicine program. You can also read interviews with current PhD students.
All faculties have offered a number of AAU electives – two to four electives per faculty. However, only a few electives are being run since application has been limited.
The brochure will help to raise awareness of the PhD program and the research training programs among students at the university, doctors and other health professionals in hospitals and higher health education institutions in the region.
The Faculty of Medicine/School of Medicine and Health has offered an elective in project management. It is a very popular subject and 52 students have registered for it.
Sickness absence in 2011 There is gratifyingly low absenteeism at the Faculty of Medicine. This is evident in a report on sick leave at AAU (Main Consultation Committee, Annex, May 30), which was dealt with by the faculty’s Consultation Committee in the spring 2012). The table below shows the average number of days of absence per employee (own illness). The overview is divided into employee groups DRAM (the inclusive labor market), TAP and VIP.
HUM, SAMF, TEKNAT Faculties in total
AAU total (i.e. the faculties, AUA, AUB, SBI)
The average number of days of absence in areas formerly under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in 2011 was 5.6 days and in the nation as a whole 8.3 days.
Newsletter from The Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University