Research Platform Digital Medicine
Digitization is transforming research and healthcare. The introduction of electronic health records and digital clinical information systems has helped to revolutionize the quality of healthcare in countries such as the United States. Linking clinical data with information from insurers on people’s fitness and even about their genes allows clinicians to make informed decisions in real time and enhances the development of personalized medicine. Germany, especially, has much to gain in this area.
BIH’s Digital Medicine Platform therefore plans to combine its ongoing work in this area and that of partner institutes to improve data use in research and clinical practice.
We will do this by establishing the Digital Medicine Platform as a scientific hub, focused on key areas such as health informatics, artificial intelligence and big data. Its activities will include, for example, developing IT infrastructures, big data analytical tools and mobile healthcare apps.
The platform aims at connecting sources of health data in Germany and ultimately at establishing a leading digital medicine infrastructure in Berlin. A Steering Committee to govern and lead the platform’s developments was elected by the researching community and is comprised of the following platform members according to their fields of expertise:
Field of expertise
AI & Machine Learning
Diagnostics & Precision Medicine
Digital Health IT
Education & Training
Electronic Patient Records & Telemedicine
Modelling & Simulation
BIH’s Executive Board member Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries holds the overall responsibility for the platform.
Several activities are ongoing to further shape the contents and developments of the research platform:
BIH and Charité are involved in the Medical Informatics Funding Scheme (MI-I) of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) by participating in the HiGHmed consortium led by Prof. Roland Eils. The aim of the initiative is to improve research opportunities and individualized patient care through innovative IT solutions. Key themes of this endeavor are:
- Data interoperability, quality, and validation
- Data security and protection
- Data archiving, standardization, modelling, and access
- Intellectual and data property
- Risk and consent management
- User rights and administration/management
- User support and training
To reach these goals, BIH is supporting the development of a Data Integration Center (DIC). DICs are to be established at every participating university hospital and respective sites of MI-I partners.
Regularly organized workshops with members of the BIH Translational Research Commons follow the goal to establish an active community, to engage in joint research activities and to identify technology needs and requirements with regard to the available infrastructures. This forum ensures the opportunity for scientists to meet technologists to discuss scientific projects as well as use cases to challenge the IT infrastructure that is currently being built up. The workshops will be continued among the internal developments as well as other events, such as the BIH Innovation’s Digital Health Forum.
Besides the provision of administrative services and server infrastructures, the BIH IT Core Facility is leading the development of the ‘Health Data Platform (HDP)’ for the standardized and interoperable integration of data. Together with additional units such as a Data Use & Access Committee (DUAC), the HDP shall enable researchers and clinicians to access and efficiently use data from the Charité’s healthcare and research context.
The HPC Core Facility provides high-performance computing resources with a focus on processing human genome data to scientists from BIH, Charité, and MDC. The Core Facility is continuously improved to serve the needs of scientists and covers topics such as user management systems, access and rights management as well as IT and data security.
BIH is cooperating with the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF), among other things by supporting the department with junior professorships. In addition, Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries acts as spokesperson for the ECDF digital health department.
Collaboration with Charité’s Institute of Medical Informatics (directed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Tolxdorff) and other related research areas and groups are in development.