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Doctor’s career path – automated forklifts and healthcare AI

Klaus Förger, D. Tech., works at Atostek in a project involving the development of software used in automated forklifts. He also acts as the scientific director of the Jasmine research project related to the secondary use of health data.

At Atostek, Klaus Förger is involved in both industrial and health care projects. Atostek’s innovative Jasmine research project on secondary use focuses on the automatic utilization and processing of health data particularly with the aid of machine learning. In the project, artificial intelligence is applied to the data. This enables, for example, the assessment of patients’ risk to get different diseases. Förger acts as the scientific director in the research project.

“In this project, we have to think about matters related to the research, confidentiality and ethical processing of health data, which is new to me. For example, the technical solution that is the best for public health may not be the best from the point of view of individual rights. I can’t just think like an engineer, but I also need to think about things from a more humanistic perspective,” says Förger.

His work also involves software development related to automated forklifts. Förger is particularly interested in how an individual can use and utilize extensive, complex information systems.

“In my previous research projects, the work focused on people. In a way, the same applies here, but in a slightly more industrial context. For example, there are people working in warehouses who know that the goods need to be delivered to a certain place at a certain time. I’m interested in finding ways to help the people get the job done easily without complex information systems getting in the way,” continues Förger.

Use for a doctoral degree in the corporate world

Research can also be carried out in the industrial sector.

“If you think about, for example, digitally captured human motion, which I studied in my dissertation, body movements consist of signals involving metrics. The metrics, on the other hand, need to be processed and interpreted. It is, however, possible to replace the person with a forklift without it impacting the work too much,” describes Förger.

Industrial and health care projects may also involve complex problems, the solution of which requires the ability to see the big picture, for example.

“In the IT sector, you often encounter complex problems, particularly if the information system is on the larger side. In such cases, it helps to have the ability to see the big picture, which is something that my doctoral degree has made me good at.”

“I also like the hands-on nature of my work at Atostek. For instance, if I program something, the work will very likely actually be put to use,” he sums up.