Dr. Paul Fuchs-Frohnhofen

Project Coordinator



Possibilities of Digitalisation in Outpatient Care to Promote the Ability to Work with Special Consideration of Possible Barriers


Initial situation

The care sector is facing particular challenges in view of the increase in the number of people in need of care, an above-average sickness rate among employees and a major shortage of skilled workers. Physical and mental stress as well as insufficient job satisfaction have a negative impact on the ability of carers to work. In line with the "outpatient before inpatient" strategy, Germany is currently focusing on cost-effective solutions for nursing care. However, the work in outpatient care services is characterised by some special features, including the mobile provision of clients with services from different cost units as well as the fulfilment of versatile subtasks, including the quick analysis of health and general condition, the provision of nursing services including interaction and communication as well as the mobile documentation of services for billing and control purposes.

Aim of the research project

This is where the DigiKomp-Ambulant research project comes in, by placing the users at the centre of technology development in an innovative way. In detail

  • a sensor kit for use at the nursing bed is to be further developed according to the requirements of nursing staff and made usable as a retrofit kit for the outpatient nursing setting,
  • the data collected by the sensor system is to be processed for various user-optimised view applications for nursing staff and smooth transfer into various nursing documentation software systems,
  • the joint project thus aims to find solutions as to how a new type of data recording (sensor kit at the nursing bed) and data transfer (nursing software) can support the interpersonal interaction of nursing staff with those in need of care,
  • suitable training and qualification measures for care workers as well as business models for medium-sized care technology providers are developed,
  • ultimately, the project aims at empirically testing and substantiating procedures for user participation that help to develop new care technologies in such a way that they meet with acceptance by the end users.

Consequently, the provision of an outpatient care service is subject to a constellation of highly complex requirements for efficient deployment planning and close coordination of spatially distributed team members. In order to secure the future of care in different care settings in Germany, innovative human-technology interaction (MTI) solutions should contribute to maintaining the independence, self-determination and quality of life of people in need of care, as well as to supporting and relieving the burden on care professionals and care-giving relatives. However, there is still a lack of practicable and financially viable solutions as to how new care-supporting technologies in outpatient care can help to relieve caregivers, simplify the work of care professionals and support their interaction work.

Social added value

As a result, an overview of success factors for the development and use of innovative ICT in outpatient care for the elderly and their transfer into business models and qualification offers is aimed for. The technology providers develop user-friendly sensor, networking and interface technologies and make selected applications available for testing under real conditions. The data collected on technology acceptance, user experience and interaction work will be fed back to the developers for iterative (agile) optimisation of the technology. In parallel, business models for ICT use and qualifications for employees in outpatient care are being developed. Project management, evaluation and transfer accompany the activities, which are divided into 8 work packages. Subsequent research work and further assignments on counselling, qualification and the development and establishment of economically viable business models for social service providers build on this. The practice partners benefit both from direct access to success factors in the use of ICT and market knowledge acquired in the project as well as through the qualification of staff. The results are made accessible nationwide in the long term by means of handouts, scientific publications and high-profile events and promote the use of ICT in the outpatient sector through scientific and economic further utilisation.

All information on the project and the project partners can be found here!