The medical informatics initiative was created to close the gap between research and healthcare. Nearly all of Germany’s university hospitals have joined forces with research institutions, businesses, health insurers, and patient advocacy groups to create a framework that harnesses research findings to the direct benefit of patients. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is investing around 160 million euros in the programme through 2021.

The digitisation of medicine is creating new opportunities for patient care and research; BMBF launched its medical informatics initiative to make the most of this transformation. In the initiative’s first phase, university hospitals and partner organisations will establish and link data integration centres. These centres will allow research and healthcare data to be aggregated and integrated across multiple entities and sites. At the same time, innovative IT solutions for specific medical applications will be developed to demonstrate the benefits of high-tech digital healthcare services and infrastructures.

Participating university hospitals and their partners have formed consortia. These are tasked with developing strategies for shared data use and exchange. They will subsequently establish the data integration centres, and create IT solutions for concrete use cases.  

These activities are coordinated by a national steering committee (NSG), to ensure the interoperability of IT systems and data integration centres between the consortia. In addition, a dedicated coordination office supports cross-consortia collaboration. This office is managed jointly by TMF – Technology, Methods and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research, MFT (Medizinischer Fakultätentag – an association of German medical faculties), and VUD (Verband der Universtitätsklinika Deutschlands, which represents 33 university hospitals in Germany).

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