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Digital is the new normal

Digital is the new normal

Digitalization is expanding into all areas of life. The health care system is no exception. For some time now, health care providers and the industry at large have been working on innovative digital solutions.

What looks like a neat special effect in a movie can save lives in the OR: 3D glasses in use during a minimally invasive procedure.

The Digital Innovation Team at Aesculap China.

Digital training for Avitum and Hospital Care.

3. Bridging distance online: work environment

Manufacturing innovative and reliable products that protect and improve the lives of patients around the world requires many gears to mesh and many experts to coordinate with one another. Until the pandemic happened, internal communication consisted of analog and digital components, of conferences, telephone calls, e-mails, databases and small talk in the break room.

In the spring of 2020, B. Braun switched to remote mode in no time at all. What does a company do when suddenly it cannot make actual contact with almost anyone? How can information be shared quickly and effectively under these conditions? How are decisions made? And how can the employees working from home still feel like they belong? 

How much things changed in just a year is especially apparent in the part of the company that, before the pandemic, had little involvement in topics like working from home and video conferences: production. “When the decision was made to move the production management to working remotely, we really weren't sure whether everything would be OK,” said Marc Riemenschneider, head of the pharmaceutical plant in Berlin, which produces glass and plastic vials of anesthetics such as propofol, which has been vital in the pandemic. This is because the manufacture of most B. Braun products is complex and includes hundreds of work steps.

The plant was facing a double challenge: Production had to be ramped up to meet the sharp rise in demand while suddenly being managed remotely at the same time. “Beforehand, we finished the entire organization of the production, called shopfloor management, in in-person meetings on site,” said Frederike Traulsen, who runs production at the Berlin plant. “We've completely digitalized this process.” Instead of clarifying issues together on the whiteboard at the factory, they now meet via video conference on Microsoft Teams. 


“Our employees personally and proactively shaped the processes so that managing remotely would work,” said Susanne Loge, who heads quality assurance for the Berlin location. “When it started working after just a few days, I thought to myself, ‘Wow’.” 

With the help of augmented reality, customers can be assisted with greater precision than ever before, and without the need for someone to come to them.

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