Through the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) and the establishment of the Data Integration Centres (DIC), clinical care data from various sources of Hospital Information Systems (HIS) are made available for medical research. With the methodological Use Case Phenotyping Pipeline (PheP), the SMITH Consortium supports the development, qualitative enrichment and evaluation of the data. The University of Leipzig leads the project.

The PheP idea: Enriching health data and supplying it to science in the best way

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PheP is a platform that enables clinical researchers to work together with statisticians and computer scientists in interdisciplinary collaboration to pursue scientific issues that previously seemed economically and technologically unthinkable. For this purpose, it is necessary to build up data sets that can be used for clinical-epidemiological and health-economic issues. From phenotypes, i.e. determinable characteristics of patients, further characteristics can be derived and provided via phenotyping. PheP also supports the record linkage procedure, which is used to combine data on a patient from different information sources, for example from health insurance companies or death data from civil registers. One of the challenges in this context is that too little clinical information is available as machine-readable data sets. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used to process documents from the Hospital Information System (HIS).

Building a treasure of data for the supply of tomorrow

PheP focuses on supporting the development and standardized introduction of new Data Use Projects (DUPs). DUPs serve a variety of tasks – quality assurance in the context of health care, networking with external data, dynamic enrichment of the data pool, scientific hypothesis generation or statistical analysis of medical issues. The technical basis is provided by a platform built at all sites – the PheP engine. The secure technology enables the execution of distributed analyses on the semantically and technically standardized data at all sites.

Zitat Prof. Löffler PHEP


The clinical Use Cases ASIC and HELP of the SMITH Consortium exemplify the new possibilities. The methodological Use Case PheP is now establishing processes and an infrastructure to enable cross-site collaboration to answer future research questions.

The PheP Concept also forms the basis of the cross-MII Use Case POLAR (Polypharmacy, Drug Interactions and Risks) which was launched in early 2020 and involves all four consortia.