Unleashing joint potential for improved regional care | Status seminar of the Digital Hubs on February 28, 2024 in Leipzig

Opportunities, challenges, solutions and the future of the Digital Hubs of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII): This was the topic of yesterday’s Digital Hubs networking meeting at the Albertina Library in Leipzig.

The six Digital Hubs Health of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) were launched in 2021 and are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with approximately 50 million euros until 2025. Their goal is to use digital innovations to improve regional healthcare and support medical research. To this end, the Digital Hubs network with the Data Integration Centers established as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative. Data Integration Centers have been established at university hospitals throughout Germany to make healthcare data available for research. The Digital Hubs extend the pioneering work of the MII to all areas of the healthcare system, including regional hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians’ offices. Practical use cases from various medical disciplines such as cardiology, intensive care, oncology, multiple sclerosis and liver disease will be used to test the transfer of health data from regional and rural healthcare facilities.

More than half of the project duration has passed. The leaders of the Digital Hubs CAEHR, DECIDE, DISTANCE, LeMeDaRT, MIDIA-Hub and MiHUBx took the opportunity to discuss the progress made so far and possible next steps after the end of funding in 2025.

Focus of the event: Sustainability of the Digital Hubs

“The Digital Hubs are not only projects, but plans with which we want to achieve a sustainable networking of the regional healthcare”, emphasized Prof. Dr. Gernot Marx, head of the Digital Hub DISTANCE, in his welcoming speech. The SMITH Consortium office, which supports DISTANCE in project coordination, organized the networking meeting.

In the first session, representatives of the Digital Hubs gave brief updates on the status of their respective projects. The milestones and project objectives to be achieved by the end of the funding period were also discussed. The Digital Hubs are currently gathering a wealth of experience in dealing with the different structures of the sectors, in particular with regard to interoperability, governance and architecture. The participants then talked about proposals for further cooperation between the Digital Hubs within the MII.

The event focused on the sustainability of the DigiHubs, which must be considered in terms of continuity beyond the funding period. The constructive discussions among the more than 50 participants showed that the Digital Hubs would like to network more closely with each other in order to identify and exploit common potential. To this end, regular web meetings will be initiated in the future and a face-to-face meeting will be organized in Berlin in the second half of June 2024. This will give the Digital Hubs the opportunity to further discuss their sustainable perspective at a “round table”.