image source: ©

Medical Informatics Initiative highlights achievements to date

3rd annual general meeting, held in Dortmund, highlights best practices for implementation of infrastructure and data sharing – plus milestones in Germany-wide standardisation

Press Release Medical Informatics Initiative TMF e. V. | 13.09.2019

“In a comparatively short time, the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) has created the essential basis for digitally integrating routine clinical data from patient care across multiple sites – for better research and more targeted treatments,” stated Sebastian C. Semler, Executive Director of TMF – Technology, Methods, and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research, and Head of the MII Coordination Office. Semler spoke at MII’s 3rd annual general meeting, held on 11 and 12 September following the annual meeting of the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS) in Dortmund. Around 150 medical and IT professionals and researchers from diverse disciplines met to exchange information, highlight milestones, and discuss upcoming challenges facing the initiative. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing approximately 160 million euros of funding through 2021.

In her welcoming address, Eva Nourney, who is a department head at BMBF, underscored: “The participants in the Medical Informatics Initiative perform their work with great expertise in order to advance the digital transformation of medicine.” She emphasised that it is important the initiative continues to coordinate closely with other German national digitisation projects, such as the Federal Government’s AI strategy and the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI).

Semler and representatives from MII consortia summarised the initiative’s achievements over the past year. All German university hospitals have joined forces and established MII’s first Data Integration Centers (DIC). The DICs integrate, standardise and process healthcare and research data locally at the respective university hospital; they also prepare the data for sharing across multiple sites. In addition, MII has defined a common Germany-wide core data set and internationally recognised standards for data sharing, and developed processes for data use.  Nationally harmonised patient consent (Broad Consent) template texts were created in cooperation with the science working group of German state-level data protection agencies and with the biobanks working group of the Association of Medical Ethics-Committees in Germany. A Central Application and Registration Office (ZARS) was established as a one-stop agency for researchers’ data requests. Furthermore, MII has also initiated dialogue on how patient participation should be structured.

Overall, the Medical Informatics Initiative has succeeded in positioning itself as a driving force and central component of the digitization of the German Healthcare System, the participants of the annual meeting summed up in their mid-term review of the current funding phase.

To the Press Release Medical Informatics Initiative TMF e. V. | 13.09.2021