SNOMED CT international terminology standard to be applied in Germany

Press release by the BMBF

18.03.2020. On 18 March 2020, the Medical Informatics Initiative presented SNOMED CT at a press conference. This internationally standardised clinical terminology enables scientists across the globe to share research data electronically and securely. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) made the SNOMED CT license available to MII participants across the country from 15 March 2020.

Using SNOMED CT, software programs can translate diverse medical terms into an internationally standardised numerical code. As a result, clinical data from multiple countries can be rendered comparable, and therefore leveraged for research purposes. This lays the foundation for a future with more effective treatments, as well as faster identification and better prevention of diseases. The integration of routine clinical data from healthcare and cutting-edge medical research has great potential – to achieve better medical treatments and to strengthen Germany’s economic and scientific standing.

Previously, a variety of terms have often been used for the same disease or disorder in medical records. This practice has made it difficult for researchers to compare data on diseases, treatments and their effectiveness, and to draw conclusions. Scientists in Germany have long recognised the need for a SNOMED CT licence in order to share research results digitally and internationally.

Now, within the scope of the Medical Informatics Initiative funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), SNOMED CT terminology can be used nationwide for the first time. The pilot license is initially limited to MII participants and project partners, with the license fee paid by BMBF. TMF – Technology, Methods, and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research is acting as the National Release Center; in its role as manager of MII’s coordination office, TMF organises and supports collaboration between MII participants across Germany.

In draft legislation, the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) has announced the continued use of SNOMED CT by means of a national license to be acquired in the near future. This license would also encompass the healthcare sector.

To mark the acquisition of a pilot SNOMED CT license, the Medical Informatics Initiative presented the terminology initiative to the media.


To the press release by the BMBF

Press conference on the introduction of SNOMED CT in Germany as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative (from left to right): Dr. Frank Wissing (German Association of Medical Faculties, MII Coordination Office), Sebastian C. Semler (TMF - Technology, Methods, and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research, MII Coordination Office, SNOMED CT National Release Center) and Professor Roland Eils (HiGHmed, Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)/Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Heidelberg University Hospital)

Common questions on SNOMED CT


Further information