The need for efficient development of improved treatments, pharmaceuticals and technologies in healthcare is greater than ever. Big data in clinical information systems is playing a key role in this. Through the use of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, this data can be brought together and made available for medical research. This process requires a high level of data quality, interoperability, data privacy and security, and consensual access processes.
The Data Integration Centers (DIC) established at university hospitals as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) guarantee and ensure these high standards. To connect the DICs across sites and create a sustainable infrastructure, the consortium has established the SMITH Service Platform (SSP). The SSP provides a uniform access for common, cross-site use cases and will offer a portfolio of different services for the needs along the data usage process in the future. This includes, for example, the SMITH Marketplace.
The SMITH Marketplace is particularly aimed at researchers who want to process and analyze data as part of a specific research project.
In order to obtain information about the expected size of the desired cohort and the selection of available distributed data even before submitting a formal user application, researchers can submit feasibility analyses to the Data Integration Centers. The SMITH Marketplace assists in modeling requests and coordinating distributed analyses. Researchers can thus optimize their queries based on the results presented and transform them into a user application
In addition, the SMITH Marketplace coordinates a central application process for data use projects. Researchers are able to create and submit user applications describing their data use projects and enter into use agreements. Use & Access Committees and project management offices of the participating Data Integration Centers evaluate and manage the provided user applications and contracts. If a contract is concluded, researchers receive the data selected on the basis of the formulated requests from the participating Data Integration Centers.
As a cross-site and central platform, the SSP provides the necessary interfaces for the integration and connection of all Data Integration Centers and thus services and use cases that apply equally to all Data Integration Centers. The interface for connecting a Data Integration Center according to the SMITH Reference Architecture is based on international standards and allows site-specific scalability.
The interface for integrating use case-specific applications is also based on international standards and enables extensions for future use cases and functions through new, interoperable applications.The IHE profiles Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) and Document Metadata Subscription (DSUB) are used to exchange process-relevant information.