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Into the Future with Metrology - The Challenges of Medical Technology

Into the Future with Metrology

The Challenges of Medical Technology

Medical measurements have a long tradition at PTB, but they have an even greater future as the development towards quantitative and individualized medicine represents a great challenge for metrology. The measurements have to be accurate and reliable, and they have to create confidence. This is where PTB has its core competence. PTB ensures the traceability of many important measurement procedures required, for example, by the EU's In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive, but also by the German Medical Devices Act. With its measurement capabilities, PTB is the world leader in this field. According to the Measures and Verification Act, it is the only notified body in Germany to carry out type examinations of sound level meters. With its statutory mandate, PTB also plays an important role in dosimetry. Metrology is indispensable for one of the most important developments in medicine: the trend towards an increasing number of quantitative measurements. PTB is at the forefront of this research, for example, in the field of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging. Here, the aim is to make the measurements more and more reliable and comprehensible. In this extremely complex interdisciplinary field, intensive collaborations with suggestions and ideas coming from all participants are essential. Therefore, PTB wishes to further intensify its existing good contacts with physicians, hospitals and the medical technology industry. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Metrology for AI in medicine: The PTB team has grownMetrology for AI in medicine: The PTB team has grown

PTB has increased its expertise in AI in medicine 

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News (partly in German)

Messungen der UV-C-Strahlung

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) measured the internal irradiance of a prototype of an indoor UV-C air purification unit to gauge its effectiveness in neutralizing germs and viruses. A simulation of the irradiance distribution in the unit also enabled us to investigate the suitability of the lamp arrangement that was finally selected. After investigating this prototype, it can be...

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The growing number of infrasound sources (infrasound: frequencies below 20 Hz) in our environment is calling society's attention to infrasound exposure. Together with the Department of Experimental Audiology at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, PTB has participated in the project titled "Infrasound and its relevance for audible sound". The project is funded by the Deutsche...

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Die EKG-Datenbank aus der PTB

Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler des Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Instituts (HHI) und der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) haben in einem Artikel in der aktuellen-Ausgabe von Scientific Data, dem Datenjournal von Nature, die Beschreibung eines Datensatzes von 21837 10s-EKG-Signalen von 18885 Patienten veröffentlicht. Er ist damit der größte frei zugängliche Datensatz seiner Art...

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The new device consists of a hemisphere on which 15 individual spectrometers are arranged in such a way that 15 different solid angles can be measured simultaneously. In this way, it is possible to determine the main direction of incidence of the X-ray photons on a person and, in particular, on an eye lens at the same time, so that the time it takes to characterize a workplace during running operation in a hospital is limited to the absolute minimum.

After the commencement of the Radiation Protection Act (StrlSchG) on 31 December 2018, the limit values for the dose to the eye lens have been considerably reduced. In order to prove and comply with these new limit values reliably, it is necessary to assess whether the existing radiation protection measures are sufficient and whether additional monitoring of the staff is required. A suitable...

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Medical research at PTB: PreventionMedical research at PTB: Prevention


Hearing well into your old age

From birth to old age, from ultrasound to infrasound, the correct measurement of sound plays a decisive role everywhere – and that includes PTB.

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Medical research at PTB: Diagnostics and TherapyMedical research at PTB: Diagnostics and Therapy

MEG measuring device

New sensors for biomagnetic signals
The value of the minute magnetic fields of the human heart and brain – and of the research that is going on there.

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Droplet Digital PCR

Laboratory values: valuable indicators for diseases 
These were crucial even before corona: What organic and inorganic biomarkers in the blood or serum can tell us.

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Torso phantom

MRI - Safety first!
Magnetic resonance imaging at high magnetic fields up to 7 teslas gives us perfect images, but it also has to be accompanied by good measurements. 

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Tissue-specific relaxation time

When the MRI scanner does the analyses on its ownt 
The change to quantitative measurements in magnetic resonance imaging is in full swing.

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Percentage of the different types of X-ray examinations

It's the dose that counts  
How high is the radiation exposure during X-rays? PTB is addressing this question in various different ways.

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calibration of dosemeters

Apply the right absorbed dose against the tumor 
Our goal: Fighting tumors while protecting the surrounding tissues. Precise measurements play a crucial role here.

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Medical research at PTB: Digitalization in the Health Care SystemMedical research at PTB: Digitalization in the Health Care System

PTB's AI Strategy
Artificial intelligence in medicine is booming. This also applies to PTB and is reflected by PTB’s new AI strategy.

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Model-based observer and machine learning for high-quality images 
The latest procedures using artificial intelligence to analyze images, such as those from mammography screening.

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ECG database

Matters close to the heart: Artificial Intelligence 
The world’s largest ECG database is from PTB and it helps to train methods of artificial intelligence.

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PTB’s Steering Group for Medicine

Since 2019, there have been five Steering Groups at PTB. These Steering Groups coordinate particularly important future-oriented topics and work on them across the boundaries of PTB’s divisions. The task of the Steering Group for Medicine (SG-M) is to develop PTB’s overall strategy in this field, to pursue the implementation of strategic aims and to allow synergy effects to evolve. This requires close coordination with PTB's divisions and intensive cooperation with external partners.


Dr. David Auerbach 
Working Group 3.12
Optical Analysis
Phone: +49 531 592-3102 
Opens window for sending emaildavid.auerbach(at)ptb.de

Dr. Jörn Stenger (Chairperson) ) 
Member of the Presidential Board 
Phone: +49 531 592-3000 
Opens window for sending emailjoern.stenger(at)ptb.de

Dr. Christian Koch 
Head of Department 1.6
Phone: +49 531 592-1600 
Opens window for sending emailchristian.koch(at)ptb.de

Dr. Bernd Güttler 
Head of Division 3
Chemical Physics and Explosion Protection  
Phone: +49 531 592-3010
Opens window for sending emailbernd.guettler(at)ptb.de

Dr. Annette Röttger 
Head of Division 6 
Ionizing Radiation  
Phone: +49 531 592-6010
Opens local program for sending emailannette.roettger(at)ptb.de

Prof. Dr. Tobias Schäffter 
Head of Division 8
Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology  
Opens window for sending emailtobias.schaeffter(at)ptb.de