Current information from HFU about the Corona virus: www.hs-furtwangen.de/coronavirus

Society, Health, Sustainability

In the core area of research Society, Health, Sustainability, interdisciplinary research projects related to current challenges in society are carried out. Research focuses on the areas of poverty and social inequality, civil society, quality of life in rural areas, assistive technologies and use of technologies in old age, as well as sustainable development education.

Research projects and studies will be carried out in the following areas:

An overview of all the contact persons for the research areas can be found Internal link opens in the same window:here.

Transformation Processes in Society

Societal structures are subject to movements and tranformations which occur, among other reasons, due to social, cultural and economic changes - for example through the interaction of the different sectors of society in terms of the way they see themselves and others, and their behaviour (e.g. poor - rich, young - old).

At the centre of the scientific experiments are questions about the opportunities and risks of human and humane existence with particular reference to technological and media developments and cultural and social change.

Current fields of research are the development and application analysis of digital lifelogging and memory systems, the examination of the importance of communications technologies for the social inclusion of the elderly and the critical social question of Food Banks and other organisations which institutionalize poverty in Germany.

Current projects:

Contact details

Digitalisation in Prevention and Health Promotion

Digital technologies also play an increasingly important role in the field of health promotion – in individual intervention to change behaviour, as well as in supporting measures to promote health in, for example, companies and local authorities. In our transdisciplinary research projects we develop digital concepts for health promotion, and, along with partners from the workplace, initiate their use in healthcare and evaluate their acceptance and effect. Research activities are generally designed to be participatory.
Current focus areas are as follows:

  • Virtual health coaches in mobile interventions (apps)
  • Digitalisation in community-oriented healthcare (neighbourhood concept)

Current projects:

Further projects and information on the Care & Technology Lab (IMTT).

Contact details

Digitalisation and Inclusion

Digitalisation leads to profound societal changes, which affect those with partial disabilities in two ways: on the one hand digital technologies (such as smartphones and language aids) offer great potential in promoting the inclusion of disabled persons. On the other hand, many new technologies are not barrier-free resulting in new disadvantages for those with functional limitations, or leading to more distancing from technology than before (digital split). In participatory research projects, we examine which measures, framework conditions and structures can help to reduce inequality in social inclusion. The focus of this work is on the use of consumer technology which promotes inclusiveness. In addition, we examine the question of the effects of technological aids on the quality of life of the disabled, and how inclusive concepts can be implemented.

Current projects:

Further projects and information on the Care & Technology Lab (IMTT).

Contact details

New Technologies in Nursing

Innovative technical solutions can potentially provide considerable relief to caregivers and a significant improvement of quality of life to those requiring care. The approaches taken range from new IT-supported methods of nursing documentation, to beds with integrated sensors and robotic systems to aid the turning of patients in beds. However, the technical systems developed until now have had a very limited effect on nursing practice. We work closely with technical and nursing science research in the following areas:

  • on the development of new technological solutions for nursing, for example interactive digital systems to improve the social inclusion of those with dementia
  • the development, piloting and evaluation of (technology-supported) complex intervention in all areas of nursing care (in-patient acute care, in-patient long-term care, out-patient intensive care, out-patient geriatric care), for example in the Pflegepraxiszentrum Freiburg, one of four national competence Centres for testing nursing technologies in Germany
  • on training and continuing education concepts in the area of digitalisation in nursing, and on approaches to technology-supported learning, e.g. VR-supported skills training

Current projects:

Further projects and information on the Care & Technology Lab (IMTT).

Contact details

(Education for) Sustainable Development

Sustainable development education aims to give today's generation a sense of responsibility, values and knowledge about the conservation of resources and the design of a life worth living for future generations. Individuals will be enabled to actively evaluate their own behaviour or development processes from ecological, economic and socio-cultural aspects, as well as to initiate sustainable development processes.

Science and research play an important role in sustainable development education. For example, the development of innovative technologies enables new education content to be developed and given a socially-sustainable focus.

The aim of HFU is to strengthen concepts of sustainable development in teaching, to set new research goals in this area, to apply sustainability criteria in our own organization, to promote the transfer of knowledge about sustainability in universities and society and to further support the networking of universities and regional partners.

Contact details

Environmental Technology

This research area includes all the aspects of environmental technology which are important for industrial companies:

  • environmental technology develops water treatment processes (physical, chemical, biological), biosensors and new Excimer UV lamps for use in photochemistry and photomedicine
  • environmental education gives employees the necessary know-how, for example, about how to deal with dangerous substances and the relevant regulations
  • environmental management controls the whole materials cycle in companies
  • environmental information systems provide the necessary information to do so
  • radioactivity measurements provide important data for industry and local government

Environmental technology is an integral part of the academic curriculum of the Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences. All research areas are either reflected in academic teaching or are actively integrated into teaching.

Contact details

Research Institutes

Contacts