Multiple Sclerosis Living Lab Dresden

Lead: Dr. Anja Dillenseger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Digital innovations are on the rise in all areas of the economy and are also becoming increasingly interesting for healthcare. Unfortunately, many of these innovations have been developed in the medical sector without involving the actual users, namely patients and medical staff. However, since these innovations are intended to be used later by precisely this group of people, this approach usually results in only insufficient added value for patients and healthcare providers, and these innovations are subsequently not used. For this reason, innovations, especially in the digital area, must be developed with the early involvement of the later users and, if possible, continuously accompanied by the latter during development.

The Multiple Sclerosis Center (MSC) Dresden recognized this aspect early on and has been an international innovator for many years, both for the care of people with MS and for research into this unfortunately still incurable disease. In doing so, the MSC has succeeded in an outstanding manner in implementing a large number of innovations for both care and research in Dresden. In order to further optimally transfer digital innovations from research to care in the future and at the same time to involve future users, the MS Living Lab was created last year as a further lighthouse project within the Center for Clinical Neuroscience.

Living Lab is the name for a so-called real laboratory, i.e. a laboratory in the middle of life, in the middle of practice. The aim is to create a close symbiosis between the application fields of medical care and research, as well as the various stakeholder groups, in order to design innovative sustainable solutions in a real healthcare context. From the beginning, the participatory involvement of users, i.e. patients and medical staff, is in the foreground. An experimental concept development for the open generation of ideas as well as a prototypical implementation and evaluation in the application case offer various possibilities for the so-called co-creation.

The positioning of the MS Living Lab in the middle of the MS Center Dresden allows a context-sensitive development in real use situations, which enables a profound understanding of the context of use and thus also long-term evaluation and learning processes. Ultimately, the creation of an MS Living Lab increases the chances of enabling innovations to enter care in a suitable form and at the same time stands for scientific sustainability in clinical research and care.

 One application scenario that is currently being implemented in the MS Living Lab Dresden is the implementation of speech analysis in the monitoring of people with MS. In addition to the multiple symptoms of MS, there is evidence that language skills are also impaired and probably the most common symptom of MS, fatigue, can also affect language. Thus, automated speech analysis could be used to identify and quantify this symptom. In addition, there is evidence of a reciprocal influence of speech or language and cognition, as well as depression, so these symptoms, which are common in MS, could also be measured. The charm of speech analysis at the MS Living Lab Dresden is that patients can perform speech exercises independently under supervision with the help of a tablet in normal clinical practice and the results can be automatically transferred to the digital infrastructure. In this way, speech analysis can be integrated into MS monitoring, allowing symptoms to be detected early, addressed therapeutically, and their development to be recorded. How these or other innovations can be integrated into clinical practice in the future can also be researched with the help of the MS Living Lab Dresden.

The MS Living Lab will grow through collaborations with partners from industry and research and facilitate the research and translation of innovations through increasing structuring and standardization. The Center for Clinical Neuroscience is therefore looking for interested cooperation partners who want to join Dresden University Hospital in this innovative and exciting MS Living Lab project.


Dr. Anja Dillenseger
Leitung MS Living Lab
Tina Görbing
Tina Görbing