SMITH Closed Meeting in Halle | August/September 2022

On August 31 and September 1, 2022, SMITH project staff met for a closed meeting for the third time this year. For two days, the more than 80 participants had the opportunity to discuss project statuses in SMITH as well as take part in workshops and discussions.

Among other things, this meeting focused on the current status of the SMITH Data Integration Centers, which make data from inpatient care available for research as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII). In the future, this should help improve treatments and processes in healthcare.

Panels and workshops were used to share progress on internal processes in the SMITH Data Integration Centers and to pass on applied knowledge.

The Teaching Working Group also presented interesting results at the closed meeting. As special guests, six SMITH PhD students presented their work in presentations and a poster session. The SMITH doctoral theses deal, among other things, with the prediction of the time course of cardiac activity, the optimization of logistical hospital processes or innovative solutions for the analysis of omics data for individualized cancer treatment. Two PhD students also addressed the methodological challenges researchers face when analyzing clinical text corpora.

Finally, a look was taken at the end of the current funding period. The application for further funding of the consortia is currently being processed. Concrete preparations are already being made for the Consolidation and Extension phase from 2023 to 2026. During this time, the solutions successfully developed in the consortia should be transferred to other data sources, clinics or research institutions and other stakeholders are to be involved.

Professor André Scherag, deputy consortium leader of the SMITH Consortium, was confident about the development of Data Integration Centers in SMITH at the end of the meeting. He also praised the practical focus of this closed meeting’s program, saying, “The focus of this closed meeting was on the users of the Data Integration Centers, such as the ‘Clinician Scientists.’ It was seen what is possible with a national cross-site research data infrastructure in the future. It should be clear to all that the sustainability of the Data Integration Centers depends on its use.”

The next closed meeting will be held in Aachen on November 23 and 24, 2022