Data-based early detection of acute lung failure | ASIC App obtains CE marking as medical device

The early detection app for the clinical use case ASIC of the SMITH consortium has obtained the CE certification. The application is therefore considered a class 1 medical device and can contribute to the early detection of acute lung failure.

Image source: © Uniklinik RWTH Aachen/OIM

Intensive care medicine is a medical field in which the largest amounts of patient care data is generated and usually saved digitally. The usage of this existing clinical routine data and its structured, systematic analysis can improve patient care. This is demonstrated by the clinical use case Algorithmic Surveillance on ICU Patients (ASIC) implemented by the SMITH consortium. In ASIC the value of big data analysis is shown by the therapy of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Although there are clear criteria for the existence of an ARDS, it is often difficult to diagnose. In order to support physicians in early detection, the ASIC app was developed for iOS and Android-based devices within the scope of the use case. The mobile application ensures continuous electronic monitoring of the relevant ventilation parameters of intensive care patients. In the case of clinical deterioration, the app provides the relevant data for all affected patients and enables a patient-related, process-controlled, actual determination of ARDS based on guideline-compliant criteria and subsequent therapy recommendations. The obedience of these recommendations can significantly improve the outcome of the treatment of these patients.

After a development and test phase of two years, the app now officially bears the legal CE mark, making it the first successfully certified Class I medical device in the medical informatics initiative. A technical connection to already existing clinical and administrative systems in patient data management and thus the integration into clinical routine is planned at eight university medical locations within the SMITH consortium.

RWTH Aachen International Academy supports young scientists | Scholarship announcement within the Master’s program Medical Data Science

For the start of the postgraduate, part-time and inter-professional study program “Master of Science in Medical Data Science (M.Sc.)” on September 29, 2020, RWTH Aachen International Academy is announcing two scholarship offers for the promotion of young scientists. 

The program aims to train specialists who have expertise at the interface of medicine and computer science both in data science and in interprofessional communication in health research and healthcare. It is aimed at graduates of a degree program in medicine and life sciences as well as graduates from the fields of computer science, mathematics and natural sciences with specific (medical informatics) professional experience. 

The funding is intended to support young academics at the beginning of their professional career. The prerequisite for funding is a maximum of 3 years of professional experience. The scholarships are awarded by a selection committee. The award decision is primarily made based on achievements in the first degree course and the type and content of relevant professional experience.

The financial support includes a 50 percent reduction in tuition fees (scholarship amount: 13,300 Euro). The deadline for submitting the complete application documents and the application for the scholarship is May 30, 2020.

Further information on the admission requirements and the course of study Medical Data Science M. Sc. can be found here:

Contact us: RWTH Aachen International Academy | E-Mail:

SMITH-Consortium hosts three-day FHIR Workshop

In July 2019, the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) decided to use the international HL7 standard FHIR to implement the core data set of the MII. The uniform format simplifies exchanging data between healthcare software systems and provides uniform data for medical research.

The SMITH Consortium conducted a MII-workshop on February 11th to 13th, 2020, at the University Hospital Jena to introduce FHIR and how it can be used. Scientific and industrial specialists shared their knowledge with 25 participants concerning the technical and organisational requirements to exchange data with other institutions.

Dr. Danny Ammon, director of the data integration center of the University Hospital Jena, introduced the interoperability standards in healthcare and why it is needed and the implementation, development, and profiling of these standards. Next, Dr. Frank Meineke and Sebastian Stäubert of the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology of the University Leipzig elucidated the phases of a Data Use Project (DUP) and the development of a clinical question to a completed analysis.

In a later training session, Dr. Kutaiba Saleh of the University Hospital Jena illustrated how to use the software ART-DECOR to prepare data and use it in DUPs. Simone Heckmann of Gefyra GmbH introduced the HL7 and FHIR in the next session.  Here the topics covered were the terminology and application of the specification, resources, profiling and the implementation of interoperability in healthcare. Finally, Prof. Dr. Cord Spreckelsen of the Institute of Medical Statistics, Computer and Data Sciences (IMSID) of UKJ, Julia Gantner (IMSID) and  Thomas Nitzsche (InterSystems GmbH) demonstrated using SQL databases to extract data, the analysis of statistic data and the use of analysis functions respectively. The Teaching Working Group of the SMITH Consortium organized this workshop.

Image source: © Universitätsklinikum Jena

SMITH organizes partner dialogue meeting

On Friday, February 6th, 2020, the SMITH consortium held the first partner dialogue meeting for non-university hospitals and medical networks. In an open exchange between around 80 participants from hospitals, medical networks, associations and industrial partners, the opportunities, which result from a collaborative partnership, were discussed.

Improved health services research, faster transfer from research to health care, long-term improvement of diagnosis, prevention and therapy and thus increased attractiveness for physicians in hospitals and medical networks are important added values ​​that result from the cooperation with SMITH.

In short lectures, the representatives of the consortium presented the structure of the data integration centers, the data protection aspects, the added value of the three use cases, the SMITH service platform and the range of solutions for transferring the SMITH architecture to the needs of the non-university sector.

Jochen Brink, President of the Hospital Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (KGNW), spoke about the requirements for a collaboration from the hospitals perspective. The KGNW expressly supports an equal partnership and an operating model adapted to the technological, organizational and economic framework of the regional hospitals.

The in-depth final discussion with all participants showed the importance of an effective cooperation between partners to realize the opportunities of personalized medicine for patients and service providers.

A continuation of the partner dialogue is planned for September this year, in which the focus will be on the perspective of hospitals and medical networks.

The speakers’ presentation slides at a glance:

Start of part-time, postgraduate study program “eHealth & Communication (M.Sc.)” at FSU Jena | Application deadline ends on February 15, 2020

On April 1, 2020 the new part-time master’s program “eHealth & Communication” starts at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. The interdisciplinary course combines medicine, computer science, public health and communication sciences. It equips to shape digitalization in the healthcare sector by scientifically well-founded use of eHealth technologies. The main focus is on the development and reflection of communication skills in the context of digitized medicine.

The current application deadline is February 15, 2020.

Further information:

Image source: © Universitätsklinikum Jena

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research presents the Medical Informatics Initiative at MEDICA 2019

Networking data, improving health care – that’s what the Federal Government’s Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) stands for. The aim of the initiative, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to improve research opportunities and patient care through innovative IT solutions. From 18 to 21 November 2019 visitors can come into a conversation with experts of the MII Consortia on our exhibition stand hall 13, booth F46.

Image source: © Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

On Tuesday, 19th November 2019, the session „The Learning Health System: The Medical Informatics Initiative Germany and the Future of Data-driven Medical Research“ of the MEDICA HEALTH IT Forum will take place with international panel speakers from 01:00 to 02:30 pm in hall 13, booth E82. SMITH will be presented in a short lecture by Prof. Dr. Gernot Marx, University Hospital RWTH Aachen; Clinical Director of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Intermediate Care and Second Spokesman of the SMITH Consortium. Also, on this day, you can meet one of our experts at the exhibition stand.

Further information: Medica Website

Lecture on the master program “Medical Data Science” at the GMA Annual Conference 2019

In September 2020, the master’s programme Medical Data Science will start at the RWTH International Academy in Aachen. Dr. Ulrike Schemmann (Aachen) and Prof. Cord Spreckelsen (Jena) will present this course at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Education 2019 in Frankfurt am Main on Thursday, September 26, 2019: “Medical Data Science – ein berufsbegleitender interprofessioneller Masterstudiengang an der Schnittstelle von Medizin und Informatik “. The lecture (#292) will take place in the context of the session Interprofessionelle Ausbildung 1 at 5.30 pm in lecture hall 3.

The GMA Annual Conference 2019 will be hosted by the Association for Medical Education from 25 to 28 September, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main. The main theme of the conference will be interprofessional teaching.

Save the Date:
26th September, 2019 | 5.30 pm | Session Interprofessionelle Ausbildung 1 | HS 3
Lecture: “Medical Data Science – ein berufsbegleitender interprofessioneller Masterstudiengang an der Schnittstelle von Medizin und Informatik“

To the website GMA Annual Conference 2019

Medical Informatics Initiative highlights achievements to date

Image source: ©

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 centres (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. | 13.09.2019

SMITH Job Rotation Program begins

The aim of the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) funded collaborative project SMITH (Smart Medical Information Technology for Healthcare) is to develop an innovative structure for cross-institutional networking and the exchange of research and healthcare data between the nine participating university hospitals.

Within the framework of the SMITH project, rotation positions are available in Jena – 4 positions each over 6 months with 100% support or 12 months with 50% support.

The rotation positions offer you the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary research projects in the context of medical informatics. Ideally, clinically active employees will move to the data integration center, while scientists from the field of medical informatics will be involved in clinical research projects close to their area of research. Employees of the operative IT can also transfer to the data integration centre for a limited period of time or employees of the data integration centre can also transfer to the operative IT.

The program is aimed at people who are currently employed in the fields of IT/medicine/life sciences.

If you are interested, please send us an application. This should include the following documents: a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, if applicable, and a letter of motivation (no more than 3 pages), which describes your research question or questions and outlines an appropriate project.

Please indicate your desired time period for the rotation in your application.

The rotation program ends in December 2021. Applications in 2021 can be accepted up to 6 months before the end of the program.

Please send your application (preferably online) to:

Jena University Hospital
Institute of Medical Statistics, Computer and Data Sciences (IMSID)
Prof. Dr. Cord Spreckelsen
Bachstraße 18 I 07743 Jena I Germany

Curricular development in Biomedicine and Health Informatics | SMITH-JET Workshop on 11 September,2019 in Dortmund

The SMITH-Joint Expertise Center for Teaching (SMITH-JET) has developed from existing catalogs a BMHI learning objectives catalog as a basis for curricular development in Biomedical and Health Informatics (BMHI). The BMHI learning objectives catalog has been discussed and approved in several meetings with experts from the SMITH data integration centers, the SMITH consortium and representatives from all Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) consortia.

In order to continue this process and especially to promote discussion with students, SMITH-JET under the direction of Prof. Dr. med. Alfred Winter, Deputy Director of the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE) of the University of Leipzig and 1st Vice President of the GMDS e. V., announces a workshop: 

Date:               Wednesday, 11th September, 2019, 08.30 – 11.00 AM
Curriculum Development in Biomedical and Health Informatics
                         within the Medical Informatics Initiative
Location:        GMDS Annual Meeting 2019 in Dortmund

The aim of the workshop is to provide insights into the current curricular development in the Medical Informatics Initiative and to continue the cooperative, cross-consortium development of BMHI teaching, training and education. The 64th GMDS Annual Conference will take place in Dortmund from the 8th to the 11th of September 2019 under the motto “Shaping Change – Creative Solutions for Innovative Medicine”. The conference is the annual platform for the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology.

Further information: