Patient-oriented smartphone-based diagnostics

In medicine, rapid, near-patient diagnosis is often necessary, for example in monitoring the curative progress of patients with mobility impairments in rural areas. In poorly accessible or underserved areas, the use of widely available diagnostic devices is a promising approach. Current smartphones lend themselves to this task due to their widespread use and already built-in sensor technology and computing capacity, but are currently only used sporadically and in a rudimentary fashion.

In this project, the Ophthalmotechnology group of the TH Lübeck will develop robust and safe attachments as a combination of spectral, fluorescence or polarization-based methods, e.g. to generate and analyze diagnostic raw data in the ocular fundus. The Ophthalmotechnology group can draw on years of experience in the acquisition and evaluation of diagnostic data in the field of ophthalmology. A well-equipped laboratory also allows reference measurements to the acquired and calculated diagnostic signals.

The high-quality cameras together with light sources built into smartphones (LED flash), allow the implementation of optical diagnostic procedures from the field of classical devices, if appropriate attachments and applications are adapted to the smartphone and measurement data are evaluated on site.

Modern methods of statistical learning theory, today mainly known from the context of AI, allow an efficient data-based evaluation of these raw data. The expertise of the Institute of Medical Electrical Engineering (IME) at the University of Lübeck in the field of probabilistic graphical models and efficient Gaussian process analysis allows the integration of prior knowledge as well as stochastic uncertainty information. The extraction of this information already from the measurement methodology and technique requires a close interdisciplinary collaboration between the Ophthalmotechnology group and the Institute of Medical Electrical Engineering.

To collect, store and process this data in a distributed way in the area of conflict between the methods of AI, the available database and the limited resources (and partly low or missing internet connection) requires competences as they are combined in the competence center Communication- Systems-Applications (CoSA). The development of such a distributed, robust and adaptive solution can only be done in close cooperation with the applying physicians.

The Institute for General Medicine (IfA) at the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck Campus, has a proven track record in analyzing the workflows and procedures of general practitioners. These study results form the basis for a targeted survey of the need in the field of ophthalmotechnology in primary care and for implementing the technical applications found in everyday care. The experience of the past years has shown that without such an implementation-scientific support, the majority of telemedical projects have not come beyond a pilot stage.

In this project, the expertise of the successful cross-university competence center TANDEM (Technology and Engineering in Medicine) between the Technical University and the University of Lübeck and COPICOH is brought together for the first time. In addition to the synergies that arise for the specific research project presented here, this also creates entirely new opportunities for future collaboration between the centers and the universities.

Video: PASBADIA - Transdisciplinary collaboration for the benefit of patients


The Joachim Herz Foundation in Hamburg is funding the joint PASBADIA project of the two Lübeck universities with around 1.3 million euros.


Mathias Beyerlein Photo of Mathias  Beyerlein
Labore für Medizinische Optik (TH Lübeck)
+49 451 300 5745

Malte Gienow-Broers, M.Sc. Photo of Malte  Gienow-Broers
Labore für Medizinische Optik (TH Lübeck)
+49 451 300 5226

Linda Anna Held Photo of Linda Anna  Held
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin (IfA)
+49 451 3101 8007

Horst Hellbrück Photo of Horst  Hellbrück
COSA (TH Lübeck)
+49 451 300 5042

Marlin Siebert, M.Sc. Photo of Marlin  Siebert
Institut für Medizinische Elektrotechnik (IME)
+49 451 4101 6220

Jost Steinhäuser Photo of Jost  Steinhäuser
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin (IfA)
+49 451 3101 8000

Larisa Wewetzer Photo of Larisa  Wewetzer
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin (IfA)
+49 451-3101-8011