OTWorld 2020: Beacons of Interdisciplinary Cooperation
Medicine and Orthopaedic Technology hand in hand: OTWorld 2020's new dual leadership reflects the interdisciplinary and inter-professional aspirations of the World Congress. The congress presidents Prof Dr Christoph Josten, Managing Director of the Clinic for Orthopaedics, Trauma Surgery and Plastic Surgery at the University Hospital Leipzig, and Master Orthopaedic Technician Michael Schäfer, Managing Director of Pohlig GmbH and executive board member of the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology Guild (BIV-OT), are counting on the power of the good example and will present, among other things, interdisciplinary cooperation with a worldwide pioneering character.
Children's Care: Focus on International Standards
Interview with Professor Dr med Christoph Josten, Congress President of OTWorld 2020, about his priorities for the programme.
In 2020, the OTWorld congress presidency will be held for the first time by an orthopaedic technician as well as by a physician. How will the new dual leadership of OTWorld shape the event programme?
Prof Josten: An interdisciplinary congress presidency is the inevitable result of developments to date. OTWorld's primary focus is on orthopaedic care, prosthetics and orthotics. This area is now so broad, diverse and so economically important -due to demographic trends- that the congress can only be optimally chaired by a dual leadership from medicine and orthopaedic technology. Improved quality of life is, after all, the goal of every orthopaedic therapy - and this goal can only be achieved through teamwork on equal footing. OTWorld's and the World Congress's success, which traditionally cultivates an interdisciplinary and professional approach, is evidence of the growing need for mutual exchange.
Which priorities have you set for your congress presidency?
Prof Josten: In 2020, the focus will be on children's care. We will stress, for example, the medical peculiarities associated with the therapy for children and deal with orthotic technology and spasticity, to name just a few. Further focal points are digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI). Developments in 3D printing will be highlighted, and we will also focus on telemedicine in rehabilitation and individualised medicine.
When it comes to children's orthopaedics and children's care in the congress programme, to what do you attach particular importance?
Prof Josten: We won't leave anything out when it comes to paediatric orthopaedics! The congress delegates will be provided with a comprehensive overview of what is currently possible in paediatric orthopaedics and paediatric trauma surgery. We will present current debates and the state of the art on an international level. This means that prosthetic care for the growing child will be given particularly intense attention at the congress. Orthotic treatment for disabilities will also play a major role in the programme, as will the treatment options for bone growth and growth disorders, such as scoliosis.
How will you, as a dean of the medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, involve the next generation of students?
Prof Josten: We are not done planning this. There may be an open lecture and guided tours for students. It is important that prospective physicians realise sooner rather than later that prosthetics and orthotics are an essential part of patient care. Furthermore, the Youth.Academy TO will again be an integral part of the OTWorld programme. In this context, we would like to create a student day with the title "Medicine in the 4.0 Era", with a special emphasis on arthroplasty, i.e. hip and knee replacement.
Will OTWorld once again emphasise or promote conservative orthopedics?
Prof Josten: Of course. The purpose of the congress is after all to show from a medical point of view how far the possibilities of orthopaedic technology can go and that surgery is often not the only therapy option. Many diagnoses can be treated conservatively. As a result, the availability of medical aids has a significant dimension in terms of health economics. That is why I want to attract even more doctors and representatives from the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) to the congress. For us doctors, prosthetists and orthotists are important partners- a fact that also applies to most post-operative medical care. OTWorld's unique selling point is its interdisciplinary, interprofessional and also international perspective.
A glimpse behind the scenes of successful projects
Michael Schäfer, President of OTWorld 2020, explains in an interview about the new formats planned for the congress programme.
Why was it the right decision to have dual leadership from both medicine and orthopaedic technology for OT World 2020?
Michael Schäfer: Today our profession demands interdisciplinarity and even cross-disciplinarity. Care is becoming increasingly complex, both medically and in terms of medical aids. This demands that the disciplines grow together and understand each other more than ever before. After all, these partially and highly complex treatment requirements can only be implemented optimally if everyone shares their knowledge with everyone else. This mutual communication is extremely important for patient care. Prof Josten and I want this to be articulated at OTWorld 2020.
Are you going to introduce new formats at OTWorld 2020?
Michael Schäfer: Yes, we will introduce the beacons of interdisciplinary care from all over the world. These are well-functioning healthcare networks in which physicians, therapists and technicians work together, make joint decisions and cooperate on care. We want to take a look behind the scenes and show what makes these "beacons" so successful. We will send invitations to selected and reviewed projects for the premiere in 2020. In the subsequent events, the networkers should then apply for participation in the beacon symposium.
Which beacons will be presented at the upcoming OTWorld?
Michael Schäfer: Some of the specialists that will be introduced include: an arm prosthetics group in the USA, a clubfoot team from North Africa and a scoliosis team from Europe. The new format is a good example of how OTWorld is developing. Insights into successful cooperations and best practices for the benefit of the patients entrusted to us is intended to inform and inspire visitors as much as possible.
What role will digitalisation and the resulting changes in processes and procedures play at the upcoming OTWorld?
Michael Schäfer: Digitalisation and its process-related changes will be a constant feature of the coming decades. The first tender buds were seen at OTWorld 2014, but in 2016 the topic was introduced with basic technical lectures. By 2018, a number of products and workflows were presented and the first successful pilot projects were launched. I think it's important that visitors not only see digitalisation as 3D printing and other modern production methods, but also as an overall process that will have to support our daily work and its processes in the future. In the upcoming events, the main focus will be on identifying which digital methods make sense for our field - and, above all, on providing the expected benefits for our day-to-day work and our customers. In 2020, we have a total of 30 symposia in the congress programme and four keynotes in which digital know-how plays a role. Digitalisation will be intensively explored in three symposia, as well as in free lectures. We will certainly talk about the increasing number of technological and trading platforms that provide our companies with tools for digital manufacturing on demand. We also need to address the growing volume of data from laws, contracts, e-health, digital health cards and files in our work organization. There is unfortunately still far too little available on digital media. Orthopaedic technology also benefits from more data flow between disciplines. This increases transparency, quality and speed of care.
Does the programme have any other new features?
Michael Schäfer: The specialist workshops have been revived. There will be one-and-a-half-hour events on two days with special registration under the title "Materials 2025". Participants receive a separate certificate for attending this course. The workshops will deal with innovative modern materials such as fibre composites, prepregs (pre-impregnated fibres), silicone technologies and 3D printing. Introductory lectures and specific production presentations present combined knowledge. It is an exciting format that will certainly be well attended.
How will you bring professional networks into the programme?
Michael Schäfer: At OT World 2020, new specialist companies can "partner up." The BIV-OT and the Deutsche medizinische Gesellschaft für Paraplegiologie (DMGP- "German-speaking" Society for Spinal Injury), for example, were able to initiate bilateral symposia at their respective events. Similar success has already been achieved for the third time with the Verein zur Qualitätssicherung in der Armprothetik (Association for Quality Assurance in Armprosthetics). The topics of interdisciplinarity and quality in the availability of orthopaedic treatment and care actually form an intrinsic part of my work as Congress President. Together with the programme committee, we were able to involve other new professional associations, such as the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Handtherapie (DAHTH-German Association for Hand Therapy). Besides therapy, medical societies such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie (DGU- German Society for Trauma Surgery), the Deutsche Wirbelsäulengesellschaft (German Spine Association) and die Deutsche Assoziation für Fuß- und Sprunggelenk (DAF-German Association for Foot and Ankle Joint) are increasingly integrated into the OT World concept. Merkur Alimusaj (Head of Technical Orthopaedics, Clinic for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Heidelberg University Hospital) and Professor Dr Frank Braatz (Professor of Medical Orthobionics (PFH), Head of Orthobionics at Göttingen University Medical Center) organised the first symposium on femoral shaft technology at OTWorld with the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists - the US professional organisation of our stand. Current trends and new developments in prosthetic socket technology, our very own trade, will be discussed and critically examined bilaterally. This symposium will then move from OTWorld to the Academy event in the USA every year and thus reach as many colleagues as possible from Europe and North America. Overall, there are a considerable number of exciting new formats, cooperations and inspirations for visitors.
What will OTWorld do to promote conservative therapy in the context of orthopaedics and orthopaedic technology?
Michael Schäfer: Conservative orthopaedics must regain a higher status and, above all, a higher presence in medical education and training. Next year, we will be integrating the German Social Accident Insurance DGUV, the umbrella association of commercial trade associations and public accident insurers, into the OTWorld programme. With topics such as assessment, rehabilitation and traumatology, we have developed approaches to support conservative treatment. We would also like to introduce the surgical disciplines to conservative orthopaedics and discuss their relationship to our work. In addition, at OTWorld 2020 we will be discussing novel methods of function-improving surgical interventions. We can look forward to very exciting developments in the future: selective nerve transfer for the treatment of phantom pain and the improvement of prosthetic control, osseointegrative implants that form direct interfaces to implanted electrodes, or sensitive reinnervations (Targeted Sensory Reinnervation) that transmit bodily perceptions and feelings to their users.