The Department of Economics, Construction and Tourism of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania funds the initiative "PLASMA Wundzirkel" (plasma wound circle), with almost 200,000 euros, for two years. The funds come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Network initiative for plasma medicine in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
In recent years, plasma medicine has developed into a core competence of the health industry in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The "PLASMA Wundzirkel" network initiative, which won an award in the Ideenwettbewerb Gesundheitswirtschaft 2015 (Health Industry Competition), aims to develop a platform for a nationwide user group of medical service providers (dermatologists, general practitioners, medical care centers, clinics, etc.), manufacturers of plasma devices, cost bearers and patients (associations) for the use of plasma therapy in wound healing. The network is to function as an opinion-forming organ for the establishment of plasma therapy, especially in the treatment of chronic wounds.
In Germany alone, about 4.5 million patients suffer from chronic wounds. In many cases, primary systemic diseases of the body such as cardiac insufficiency or diabetes lead to wound healing disorders in the back, lower legs or feet. The treatment of such wounds poses new challenges for medical professionals ever, as in many cases wound closure cannot be achieved with established therapeutic approaches. The result is increasing amputation rates and an increasing number of patients who require continuous care by physicians and nursing staff.
For several years, cold plasma therapy has been successfully used in clinics and practices to treat patients with chronic, infectious wounds or skin diseases. The INP, which today is regarded as the international leader in the field of plasma medicine, played a significant role in this development. Years of scientific research at the INP have resulted in in the kINPen® MED plasma pen from INP spin-off neoplas tools GmbH, which has been approved as a medical product since 2013, as well as in the spin-off COLDPLASMATECH, which was founded in 2015 and is currently preparing for the approval of a large-area plasma wound dressing. Also, the Karlsburg Diabetes Competence Center at the Karlsburg Clinic was inaugurated at the beginning of 2016, integrating clinical treatment and application-oriented research under one roof. Innovations, such as plasma medicine, are to be managed and marketed profitably in terms of health economics.
Despite the successes to date, it is necessary, as with any new technology, to dissolve the reluctance of customers and users towards the use of plasma therapy through an informative communication policy. The foundation stone for this was laid with the marketing project "Plasmedicine - A beacon of the health industry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania," which won an award at the Health Industry 2012 Competition. In recent years, various marketing activities have succeeded in raising public awareness of plasma medicine beyond national borders.
The "PLASMA Wundzirkel" network initiative aims to build on this success.
The practical implementation of the "PLASMA Wundzirkel" for users, manufacturers, decision-makers, and patients offers the opportunity to promote the exchange of experience between all those concerned, through application-related and patient-oriented communication. At the same time, the network serves to deepen currently available research results, for example through further product development and the targeted bundling of infrastructures. The contents of the "PLASMA Wundzirkel" include regular workshops and a virtual forum for networking of the participants, as well as an information platform for patients and relatives.
If plasma therapy can be established in the long term as a new approach to wound treatment, medical care can also be improved. Above all, however, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will have the opportunity to assume a pioneering position in plasma medicine at the federal level and thus expand its innovative strength in the health industry.