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28. November 2022

Healthier lifestyle through digital tools

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital Health and Prevention in Salzburg is celebrating its third birthday.

On the occasion of the third anniversary of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital Health and Prevention (LBI-DHP), a press conference took place on Monday in Salzburg. Representatives of the institute, the state government, science, and the Ludwig Boltzmann Society reviewed the last three years and gave an outlook on future work at the research site.

“The establishment of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute three years ago marked a major milestone for the Science and Innovation Strategy 2025 (WISS 2025). The Salzburg research location benefits from such excellent institutes and at the same time shows that life sciences are one of Salzburg’s strengths,” said Walter Haas from Innovation Salzburg, a network partner of the LBI-DHP.

Salzburg’s state parliament president Brigitta Pallauf added, “To establish such a renowned institute in Salzburg is an accolade for the life sciences location in Salzburg and the research work that has been done for years, which also receives high recognition. Salzburg needs such visible institutions and competencies to sharpen its profile as a research location, to be perceived, and ultimately to be attractive to skilled workers and investments.”

Shaping a healthier lifestyle with digital tools

Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide and are responsible for the most deaths in Austria. “Although many cardiovascular patients want to change their lifestyle, they usually cannot do so sustainably,” said Institute Director Josef Niebauer. Therefore, the LBI-DHP, located at the University Institute for Sports Medicine at the University Hospital Salzburg, aims to achieve better sustainability of lifestyle changes. “Through our research, there is hope that patients can maintain permanent changes through digital technologies, such as support for exercise programs via app, joint decision-making with health experts, and objective assessment of actual behavioral change,” explained the institute director.

For example, the LBI is a project partner in the Connect2Move project, in which a digital check is being developed to help hikers find routes suitable for their fitness level. The LBI is also currently developing an app that creates an individual exercise plan to strengthen the cardiovascular system under the supervision of a doctor.

Open innovation in science as a tool for building successful institutes

The LBI-DHP heavily relies on open innovation in science methods since its founding. This approach actively involves the public, which can contribute to bringing society and science closer together. Furthermore, researchers gain more insight into current social issues.

Open innovation in science allows the institute to involve patients with cardiovascular diseases, making it easier to access patient data. This is a crucial point for the LBI-DHP because the innovative work of the institute heavily depends on the provision of data.

Looking towards the future

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute’s term ends in 2026. Nevertheless, the LBI and the strong partner network, including Innovation Salzburg, Paracelsus Medical University, FH Salzburg, Paris Lodron University, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, and the State of Salzburg, are convinced that the institute can be successfully continued under a different name and in a modified form.

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