2nd Congress by the SMITH Consortium of the Medical Informatics Initiative | June 28th – 29th 2022, dbb forum berlin

Ladies and Gentlemen,

with the motto „New Horizons in Digital Health“ we met in September 2019 for the first congress of the SMITH Consortium in Berlin. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world, particularly in the field of digital medicine. The goal of the Medical Informatics Initiative of establishing digital infrastructures as the basis for cross-site data and knowledge exchange between care and research has taken on a whole new, tangible meaning against the backdrop of the pandemic. We have learned that some challenges were greater than originally thought, making it clear to all involved, at the latest now, that serious digitization is a continuous process and not an end state. It is therefore most welcome that this development is also being supported by the new German government through more sustainable funding measures.

As part of this year‘s congress “New Solutions in Digital Health”, the consortium SMITH „Smart Medical Technology in Healthcare“ aims to show what has been achieved in the “development and networking phase”. As one of four consortia funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), SMITH set out in 2018 to sustainably improve clinical research and patient care. One highlight is the establishment of Data Integration Centers at the seven university medical sites in Aachen, Bonn, Essen, Halle (Saale), Hamburg, Jena and Leipzig, which have been highly successfully externally audited in 2021. The network partners Bochum, Düsseldorf and Rostock are preparing to establish Data Integration Centers. Three use cases demonstrate the benefits of the Date Integration Centers. The methodological Use Case PheP supports the establishment, qualitative enrichment and evaluation of the existing clinical dataset. The clinical Use Cases ASIC and HELP are designed to improve healthcare delivery in the areas of critical care and infectious disease medicine. Both use cases integrate mobile applications (apps) into the daily clinical routine at the participating sites and this during a pandemic! In the field of medical informatics teaching, SMITH was able to establish six new professorships, four junior research groups and three new degree programs, as well as a variety of continuing education programs.

With the SMITH Congress we do not only want to present what has been achieved, but also take a targeted look into the future and consciously leave the boundaries of university medicine. In addition to a European perspective, the transfer of digital innovations into regional care will be addressed using the example of the “Digital Hubs: Advances in Research and Health Care”. To this end, we have invited the heads of the six Digital Hubs funded by the BMBF and we are eager to hear about their diverse approaches and initial experiences after more than a year of operation. We believe that medical research and care should no longer be considered separately in the future. For this reason, we invite everyone to participate in a discussion about how sustainable networking between research and care could be designed to be better prepared for future challenges.

Come to Berlin in the summer of 2022.
We are looking forward to seeing you again!


Prof. Dr. André Scherag
Congress President New Solutions in Digital Health

Director of the Institute for Medical Statistics, Informatics and Data Science (IMSID) | University Hospital Jena, Germany
1st Speaker SMITH Consortium, Head of the HELP Use Case