HiGHmed Consortium: Heidelberg - Göttingen - Hanover Medical Informatics
HiGHmed Logo

The HiGHmed consortium unites three leading international medical faculties and university hospitals with complementary skills: Heidelberg, Göttingen and Hanover. They are joined by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), based in Heidelberg. HiGHmed aims to enhance the efficiency of clinical research and improve patient care through novel medical informatics solutions and cross-institutional data exchange. To this end, the partners leverage their extensive experience in medical IT development, application and training. In addition to its core partners, HiGHmed has the support of members of higher education and the private sector.

HiGHmed will be funded by BMBF during the development and networking phase, beginning in January 2018.

Development and networking phase

Data integration centres

Data integration centres (DICs) will be established at each participating university hospital to enable cross-institutional data sharing and integration. These centres will work closely with a further DIC, dedicated to genomics and radiomics data, at DKFZ. The DICs will leverage a flexible, generic reference architecture based on open-source standards to allow its use by other sites, including the incorporation of new sources of data. Three medical use cases, on oncology, cardiology and infection control, form the basis for planning for the HiGHmed DICs and integration platform.

Use Cases

The oncology use case will address the challenges of incorporating huge data volumes (omics data) from genome sequencing and radiology into clinical practice. A virtual oncology centre will visualise the course of cancer treatment, and serve as a platform for sharing information between hospitals, research institutes, doctors and patients. The virtual centre will play a significant role in identifying similar cancer cases, and enabling tailored, patient-centred care – as demonstrated by examples involving tumours of the pancreas, liver and bile ducts.

In the cardiology use case, data from wearable, implanted and connected medical devices will be transferred to the data centres. New, mobile diagnostic devices will have a major impact on medical practice and research. They capture data from long-term monitoring and measurements, generating highly specific and comprehensive data sets. As a result, high-risk patients could be identified early, hospital stays reduced, and mortality rates lowered.

The infection control use case will develop an automated early-warning and cluster-analysis system to support the algorithmic detection of pathogen clusters in hospitals. This includes the identification of multidrug-resistant organism clusters, and their transmission routes within and between hospitals. It will also help determine whether clusters represent genuine outbreaks, and identify potential causes.

Data use and access concept

HiGHmed is developing a comprehensive data protection concept. This takes into account the location-specific principles and policies of the data integration centres, plus the requirements of its three use cases. The consortium has also drawn on the generic data protection concepts published by TMF as part of its book series in 2014. HiGHmed partners collaborated during the conceptual phase of the Medical Informatics Initiative to determine details of its data protection concept – for example, on data flow, identifying applicable legislation, origin and determination of data, and on applying technical and organisational solutions. HiGHmed continues to evolve and adapt its data protection concept, taking into account German legislation that has yet to be amended in line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Presentation and discussion will be via TMF’s data protection working group.

Measures to strengthen medical informatics in Germany

  • Establishment of a teaching and training programme
  • Establishment of a training-on-the-job programme
  • Development of concepts for graduate and post-graduate education
  • Qualifications for employees in the field of medical informatics
  • Training for medical healthcare professionals on using new technologies
  • HiGHmed certificate in medical informatics
  • Raising the proportion of women in medical informatics
  • Providing online information modules for patients, study participants, and citizens
Consortium leader
Head
Prof. Dr. Roland Eils (HiGHmed Koordinator) / Prof. Dr. Björn Bergh (Standortsprecher)
Telephone
+49 6221 541 1290 (R. Eils) /+49 6221 562 2000 (B. Bergh)
Consortium partners
Head
Prof. Dr. Ramin Yahyapour (Standortsprecher)
Telephone
+49 551 2011 545
Head
Prof. Dr. Michael Marschollek (Standortsprecher)
Telephone
+49 511 5325 295
Head
Prof. Dr. Roland Eils
Telephone
+49 622 1545 1290
Head
Dr.-Ing. Matthieu-P. Schapranow
Telephone
+49 331 5509 1331
Head
Prof. Dr. Christoph Rußmann
Telephone
+49 551 3705 217
Head
Prof. Dr. Thomas M. Deserno
Telephone
+49 531 3912 130
Head
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver J. Bott
Telephone
+49 511 9296 2627 oder +49 511 9296 1002
Head
Prof. Dr. Rolf Bendl / Prof. Dr. Christian Fegeler
Telephone
+49 713 1504 498 (R. Bendl) / +49 7131 504 527 (C. Fegeler)
Head
Prof. Dr. Kay Hamacher / Dr. Tatiana von Landesberger / Prof. Dr. Stefan Katzenbeisser
Telephone
+49 615 1162 0370 (K. Hamacher) / +49 615 1155 631 (T. von Landesberger) / +49 6151 16 25620 (S. Katzenbeisser)
Head
Prof. Dr. Georg Ertl
Telephone
+49 931 201-39001
Duration
2018 - 2021
Head
Prof. Dr. med. Björn Bergh
Duration
2018 - 2021
Head
Prof. Dr. Andreas Beyer
Duration
2018 - 2021
Head
Martin Peuker
Head
Prof. Alice Carolyn McHardy
Telephone
+49 531 3915 5270
Head
Dr. Tim Eckmanns
Telephone
+49 301 8754 3485
Head
Dr. Ralf Brandner
Telephone
+49 622 7385 135
Head
Dr. Werner Eberhardt
Telephone
+49 6227 7-61420
Head
Dr. Jürgen Quittek
Telephone
+49 6221 4342 115
Head
Dr. Martin Hirsch
Telephone
+49 30 6003 1987
Telephone
+49 800 1881 885
Conceptual phase

The goal of the HiGHmed (Heidelberg - Göttingen - Hanover Medical Informatics) consortium is to develop and apply innovative information infrastructures – to enhance the efficiency of clinical research, and to accelerate the translation of these results into verifiable improvements in patient care.

During the conceptual phase of the initiative, HiGHmed developed concepts to establish four coordinated data integration centres (DICs) at the consortium’s locations. These would be compatible across organisations and institutions, and suitable for international cooperation. Moreover, the DICs are to be expanded both qualitatively and quantitatively in the following years.

This work is aligned with HiGHmed’s goal of developing innovative, internationally interoperable data integration solutions and methods, and proving their added value for research and patient care. In addition, the consortium intends to establish a programme to strengthen education and promote young medical informatics professionals – with a focus on new learning methods that incorporate digital media.

Concepts ready for implementation were developed in five work packages (WPs):

  • WP1 defined how data integration centres would be implemented and interconnected in greater detail.  
  • WP2 formulated research strategies on the basis of three medical use cases. These were developed in detail with corresponding experts from the consortium’s three sites to improve the chances of future validation of the data integration centres. The oncology use case focuses on the incorporation of omics data into clinical practice. The cardiology use case is based on data from wearable or implantable sensors, and the infectiology use case on data from healthcare.
  • WP3 described the education/support programme for young professionals in medical informatics.
  • WP4 focused on data protection, ethics and legal issues.
  • In addition to coordinating HiGHmed, WP5 developed concepts for external communications and roll-out.
Consortium leader
Head
Prof. Dr. Roland Eils
Telephone
06221 54-51290
Funding Ref. No.
01ZZ1605C
Funding amount
172.837 EUR
Duration
01.08.2016 - 30.04.2017
Consortium partners
Head
Prof. Dr. Ramin Yahyapour
Telephone
0551 201-1545
Funding Ref. No.
01ZZ1605A
Funding amount
59.600 EUR
Duration
01.08.2016 - 30.04.2017
Head
Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Marschollek
Telephone
+49 511 5325 295
Funding Ref. No.
01ZZ1605B
Funding amount
63.600 EUR
Duration
01.08.2016 - 30.04.2017
Head
Prof. Dr. Roland Eils
Telephone
+49 622 1545 1290
Funding Ref. No.
01ZZ1605D
Funding amount
49.892 EUR
Duration
01.08.2016 - 30.04.2017