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Bridge builders between technology and health and social professions wanted!

In the winter semester of 2021/22, Hof University of Applied Sciences will expand its range of courses to include a new type of degree program that is unique in Germany. The bachelor’s degree program in “Innovative Healthcare” will be launched at the new Kronach campus. It deals interdisciplinarily with the interfaces between health care, computer science and engineering. The future graduates of the new occupational profile are expected to make a valuable contribution to ensuring a high quality of life for the population throughout all phases of life, but also to help optimize the working conditions of employees. In addition, they are also expected to help meet the demands of demographic change, particularly in rural regions.

The new campus is being built in Kronach: Here is a view from the train station to Feste Rosenberg
Image: Dr. Otmar Fugmann

In recent years, digitization has affected almost all areas of working and private life. Technical applications also offer immense opportunities in the healthcare, nursing and care sectors. However, their spread is still low, as demonstrated during the Corona pandemic, among other things.

Modern technology provides support

If body scales that record muscle and bone mass are now almost standard in every private household, developments offer far more possibilities for anyone working in this sector: Think of drinking cups that remind you to drink and record how much has been drunk without the need for a specialist to remind you – or even smartwatches that perform a 24-hour ECG on the wrist without much effort or cumbersome cables.

Digital technology is increasingly part of modern, cutting-edge healthcare; image: pixelfit/istock;

Changing job profiles

These are just two of quite a few examples of how much new technology is making work easier. But they give an idea of how much traditional job descriptions will also change.

Robotics, telemedicine and all kinds of assistance systems are gaining more and more influence in the field of healthcare. And when it comes to the use of acquired data and artificial intelligence, this field is still in its infancy. However, there is already a shortage of experts who understand both technology and specialist processes and who have the economic and communication skills to bring together all the disciplines and people involved

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann, University President

Interface competence as a success factor

It is precisely this shortcoming that the new study program at the Kronach campus is now addressing:

“We teach specialist processes from healthcare as well as necessary technical knowledge. While up to now there have been professional profiles of care such as doctors, nurses, therapists as well as educators on the one hand and computer scientists and engineers on the other, these supposedly rigid boundaries are no longer purposeful in the new world of work.” And further

So we want to train bridge builders between these fields – because we are convinced that this is where the future of healthcare will lie,” says Prof. Dr. Gerald Schmola, founding dean of the Faculty of Innovative and Interdisciplinary Sciences at Hof University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Dr. Gerald Schmola, founding
dean of the Faculty of Innovative and Interdisciplinary Sciences at Hof University of
Applied Sciences

Specialization at the end of studies

In line with this claim, the list of teaching contents that will be taught in Kronach from October 2021 is broad. The course of study is based on four pillars as well as a specialization. In the area of “Fundamentals of Healthcare”, the foundation is laid with the acquisition of knowledge such as basic medical principles or epidemiology and healthcare policy. Another core area is dedicated to the subject area of “applied informatics”. Seminars on data analysis and business intelligence or on internet and app technologies are exemplary modules in this area. In the core area of “health technology”, the curriculum includes exciting lectures and exercises on topics such as robotics or assistance systems that support everyday life. The fourth pillar of the program is management basics and methodological skills. Here, students gain insight into project management or quality management, for example.

At the end of the program, students can specialize in one of three areas: For this, the modules on nursing, applied psychology or social work/social management are available for selection.

Image: Cecilie Arcus/istock

The university will set up several laboratories specifically for the course, where students can apply the technologies, experience them for themselves and also develop them further.

The study program is explicitly aimed at both men and women who bring a high level of interest in health and social services, but at the same time are also interested in technological topics. On the one hand, these can be graduates of high schools or technical and vocational high schools, but on the other hand, they can also be people who already work in the healthcare or IT sector and would like to further their education.

After graduation, our new degree program can be used, for example, to fill positions that implement modern technology in existing areas of healthcare, e.g. in hospitals, nursing homes, but also in the medical technology industry or with software providers. However, we also want to enable our graduates to break up existing structures in the healthcare sector and establish new, visionary business models.

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wolff, Vice President Teaching at Hof University of Applied Sciences

Apply now!

The study program “Innovative Healthcare” will start in the winter semester 2021/22 at the Kronach campus. You can apply for the new degree program starting in May 2021. For more information, visit


A film about the study program…

About Prof. Dr. Gerald Schmola

Prof. Dr. Gerald Schmola
Rainer Krauß

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