Boosting understanding and treatment of bone fractures in the Baltic Sea Region

Hospitals in five countries in the Baltic Sea Region worked with healthcare companies to foster innovation in clinical procedures for the management of fractures. The Baltic Fracture Competence Centre (BFCC) project is helping to generate new products, technologies and services that will provide better outcomes for patients in Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. BFCC’s findings are particularly timely, bearing in mind the need to find new and effective treatments and products that can help Europe deal with an ageing society.

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The Baltic Fracture Competence Centre project is bringing hospitals and the healthcare industry in five Baltic Sea Region countries together, to better manage fractures. ©Baltic Fracture Competence Centre The Baltic Fracture Competence Centre project is bringing hospitals and the healthcare industry in five Baltic Sea Region countries together, to better manage fractures. ©Baltic Fracture Competence Centre

" The Baltic Fracture Competence Centre generates great added value for the fracture community in the Baltic Sea Region through knowledge exchange between clinics and industry across borders. The developed fracture register forms the basis for identifying innovation potential and improving processes. "

Imke Schneemann, Project coordinator

The hospitals involved in the project shared best practices which have been influenced by different national, organisational and regulatory conditions. BFCC focused its work in two areas: establishing a transnational fracture registry; and building a collaborative platform to promote the development of new products and procedures.

Pilot studies

The five hospitals collaborated with healthcare companies in three pilot studies. One focused on creating a classification system to record post-surgery complications. Work here made it possible to identify areas where care could be improved. The pilot revealed that hospitals and manufacturers will have to make changes to improve the safety of implants. Another study within this pilot provided useful information on how to ensure consistent monitoring of complications during treatment.

A second pilot evaluated the clinical use of Bindex, a handheld device which can provide a quick and accurate estimate of bone mineral density and therefore determine possible problems with osteoporosis. Knowing the degree of osteoporosis during surgery allows for changes in treatment strategies, which in turn provides patients with a better chance of recovery.

The third study aimed at identifying systematically causes of infections during treatment. As a result, new approaches to infection control have been developed. The study also revealed areas for improvement and identified gaps in innovation.

Collaborative effort

A total of 558 stakeholders from all the Baltic Sea Region countries were involved in the project, helping to inform its work and outcomes. In addition, more than 250 people participated in BFCC webinars, which allowing the sharing of best practices and knowledge relating to treatment procedures. The project team believes the expertise of all five hospitals has been strengthened through this extensive collaboration.

Moreover, medical equipment manufacturers have been able to access hospital expertise across borders, helping them to test and improve their products. The transnational fracture registry is now operational and currently includes more than 800 entries.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Baltic Fracture Competence Centre” is EUR 3 608 292, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 2 773 105 through the “Interreg Baltic Sea” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Research and innovation”.

 

Draft date

17/01/2020