Research cooperations

Working towards the OR of the future

Increasing numbers of medical devices are being used in the operating theatre, each with highly complex functions. Moreover, devices are now frequently used in parallel, requiring the simultaneous attention of the user. Intuitive operation of the devices while concentrating fully on the patient is thus becoming far more difficult.

This problem can be solved by the "OR of the future". Renowned medical device manufacturers are working together to achieve safe dynamic integration of different devices in the OR and the hospital – on the basis of an open, standardised communication protocol.

Basis: "Service-oriented Device Connectivity"(SDC)

This standard is known as "Service-oriented Device Connectivity" (SDC) and its basic principles are already included in the ISO/- IEEE 11073 directives. It emerged from the publicly funded project OR.NET, which is now being continued as a research cooperation.

For several years now, steute Meditec has been heavily involved in research projects focussing on the integrated operating theatre such as OR.NET, MoVE, PoCSpec, ZiMT and OPtimal. All of these projects pursue the common goal of interoperability: use of a single user interface to control multiple medical devices.

In order to achieve this goal fully, various requirements must be met:

  • Description of a uniform approach as the basis for international standards
  • Development of standardised approval procedures for OR environments
  • Description of universally valid test procedures prior to approval
  • Development of methods to support the risk management of openly integrated medical products in integrated OR environments
  • Definition of a simulation environment suitable for testing the integration of medical devices and software components and validating them according to various parameters

Research projects

German medical device manufacturers from a wide range of disciplines are the first worldwide to realise an open integration of medical products in the OR. In this context, steute Meditec is working in diverse research projects, presented in brief on the following subpages. Moreover, steute Meditec is developing control systems for this solution which can interact via "plug & play" with different medical devices and which will be used as universal controls in the OR of the future.

Our partners say...

"The new IEEE 11073 SDC standard is the key technology that will enable medical devices to work together in networks in the future. The technology enables the seamless integration of different medical technologies for integration into clinical value chains."

Prof. Dr. Thomas Neumuth

Innovation Center Computer Assisted Surgery (ICCAS)

University of Leipzig | Medical Faculty


OR.NET e.V. is a registered association bringing together industrial specialists, clinical staff and researchers, all intent on realising open integration in the OR of the future, as well as in other areas of acute medicine. It is our vision to establish safe and dynamic device-to-device communication using state-of-the-art information and communication technology. Medical equipment is automatically integrated in a device network within the OR, the ICU or the emergency room via plug-and-play.

Following 15 years of research, the enormous relevance of our approach became transparent in the OR.NET project funded by the German Ministry BMBF (until 2016), not least through the participation of more than 50 directly funded project partners and an equal number of associated project partners.

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