Interview Research

BRAIN-Forum 2020 – COVID-19 and smart medical technology as all-emcompassing themes

Since 2016, OPHARDT Hygiene has been organizing an annual networking event, called the BRAIN-Forum. During this event, partners, customers, and industry experts are invited to our company headquarters in Issum, Germany, to exchange ideas on the topic of infection prevention.

Each year, we begin the evening with interesting presentations that are culminated by a keynote speaker and informal networking.  The event switches between English-language keynote speeches in odd years and German keynote speeches in even years.   

This year, we were unable to host the event in person, due to restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, our team put together a virtual event by converting our Compliance Campus into a studio and streaming presentations of our German-language Brain-Forum over the internet.

Heiner Ophardt looks to the past for guidance going forward

Pandemics are certainly not a new phenomenon.  The Spanish flu first emerged in 1918, and after four successive waves had infected more than 500 million people and impacted the lives of many more. The impacts of the pandemic were even felt in the Ophardt family, shared Heiner Ophardt during this year’s Brain Forum, recalling memories of his great uncle who was left paralyzed for life after contracting the Spanish flu.

When we look at the Spanish flu, SARS, swine flu and now COVID-19, it appears the time between pandemics is becoming shorter, Heiner said. To date, more than 30 million people have contracted COVID-19. Although healthcare systems have evolved greatly over the last century, there are still improvements we must make to optimize safer patient care.

At the same time that hospitals around the globe are overwhelmed, the novel coronavirus has brought economies around the world to a standstill. Pandemic essential products and services have faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles to meet ever-increasing demand.

As a manufacturer of hygiene hardware and software, Heiner said that OPHARDT Hygiene has had to adapt quickly to increased demand for products and services, especially for touchless and intelligent dispenser systems. The demand for our dispenser systems has resulted in major days in delivery times in recent months. During this time, our team has been working diligently to adapt to the new and changing situation, buying and renting buildings, buying new machines and tooling, and increasing our workforce. On some products, like the RX5 M, the ingo-man® plus, Praesidio, and ingo-man® classic series, Heiner said that capacity efforts have resulted in decreased lead times. In other product categories, new orders still outpace capacity improvements.

Click here to learn more about how we have adapted to the current challenge:

OPHARDT Hygiene’s Medical Director lays Foundation for Infection Prevention

At this year’s Brain-Forum, Dr. Andreas Glöckner presented infection prevention measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Dr. Glöckner specializes in internal medicine, infectious diseases and intensive care. He has been working for OPHARDT Hygiene as Medical Director since 2017. OPHARDT Hygiene’s company mission to Break the Chain of Infection, also applies within the company. To do our part to keep ourselves, our colleagues, and our families safe, OPHARDT Hygiene introduced far-reaching measures to prevent infections right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Glöckner, introduced a pandemic plan, whose core features centre around a 2-phase system. Phase 1 requires strong hand hygiene compliance and wearing masks at work, but makes home office work and temperature measuring optional. Phase 2 – at more than 50 per 100,000 new infections within the region in the last 7 days requires hand hygiene compliance, wearing masks at work, temperature measurements and home office work.

A more comprehensive look into Dr. Glöckner’s pandemic plan will be made public in the coming weeks.

For the interview click here (only available in German)

Dr. Gantner offers insights into the future of healthcare

Finally, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Tobias Gantner as our main speaker at the Compliance Campus. Dr. Gantner is a surgeon, founder and CEO of Healthcare Futurists, and is convinced that digital health will make our lives better. Appropriately, he gave an exciting presentation on future technologies in the field of medicine, in which he introduced us to various digital transformations of the future.

One example is the initiative – Faster than Corona. According to Dr. Gantner, there are three ways out of the pandemic: complete power (lockdown), complete trust (there will be a vaccine) and complete transparency. This is exactly where the initiative Faster than Corona comes in, which centres on comprehensive data donation. Volunteers must give their data anonymously to the initiative, which is stored in central databases. With the help of artificial intelligence, patterns can be recognized quickly and appropriate preventative actions can be taken based on the data.

COVID-19 has also brought about a rapid and radical change in the field of telemedicine. Many regions simply have too little availability of medical professionals – but their demand has increased enormously.

One such platform is TeleMedicon, an online practice that can be used free of charge by any doctor.  If needed, on site medical assistants can be “remote controlled” by the doctors according to needs.

Gantner stressed that it is important to use the litany of existing technologies – like with telemedicine – to solve pressing issues in the field of medicine today.

For the interview click here (only available in German)

New Product Introductions

Of course, we also offered insights into our newest products. Based on customer feedback, we have completely redesigned the user interface of our OHMS system. The final version is expected to be released on December 01, 2020.

In addition, we have added the ingo-man® SmartNose to our product range, designed as a retroffitable smart device for existing ingo-man® plus dispensers. A critical feature of the SmartNose is the feedback LED. While the 500 ml version is already available, the 1000 ml version will be available on January 01, 2021.

For more information on OHMS and the ingo-man® SmartNose click here

For the product video click here (only available in German)

During the BRAIN Forum, we also first released news of our newest product series – SanTRAL® Plus. The new digital washroom series was introduced in a webinar that followed the BRAIN Forum


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