In Germany there are around 10,000 new cases of blindness every year, with 50 percent being caused by so-called age-related macular degeneration and 17 percent by diabetic retinopathy. "Intravitreal surgical drug application" (IVOM) is a common therapy for maintaining or improving vision in these diseases. It is one of the most common medical interventions in Germany and is performed around 1.5 million times a year. However, treatment outcomes in practice are worse than in clinical studies and there is a lack of multi-centre data collection from daily hospital routine to understand treatment problems before they can be solved.
Logo EyeMatics

EyeMatics is a project that collects and analyzes clinical data from patients who have received IVOM therapy from various information systems in the clinics. Using a harmonized core data set, it combines information sources from four university hospitals (Aachen, Greifswald, Muenster and Tübingen) and from two rollout partners (Clinic Chemnitz and University Hospital Leipzig). The project uses established statistical methods and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence pattern recognition methods to identify new characteristic features of the eye diseases mentioned above and to examine their course during IVOM therapy.

"With EyeMatics we create the conditions for a multi-centric data analysis of "real world" data at university clinics of ophthalmic. Among other things, we gain insights into possible regional differences in the disease entities examined and can carry out evaluations of the various treatment schemes. Research and patient care will benefit directly from the infrastructure established in the project. In this way, we will make a major contribution to improving overall care and being able to treat our patients in a more personalized way in the future."

Prof. Dr. Nicole Eter
Director of the department for ophthalmology, University of Muenster Medical Center

The added value

The project is an extension of the existing work of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII), in which data from patient care and research shall be made more accessible in order to strengthen research and improve care. The added value of this project is that an analysis of "real world" clinical data generated at different sites is made possible for the first time in the context of ophthalmology.

In addition, patients are actively involved: on the one hand with the help of the patient association PRO RETINA Deutschland e.V., on the other hand by collecting "patient reported outcomes", i.e. therapy results documented by patients. The merged data will be evaluated across a range of demographic and clinical parameters, treatment data, and state-of-the-art imaging and treatment patterns.

"Established standards and innovative approaches in data processing are required for cross-location data use across five federal states. The present use case builds on the existing preliminary work of the medical informatics initiative and provides new tools to achieve added value in ophthalmology. We are pleased that the use of medical informatics could enable patients to achieve significantly improved vision in the future."

Prof. Dr. Julian Varghese
Professor of Medical Informatic at the University of Muenster

Clinical dashboard

As an example of meaningful data preparation and use in the healthcare context, a clinical dashboard will be introduced as a demonstrator at each location. This connects previously separate IT systems and visualizes cross-location real-time data. This accelerates the identification of patients at risk and the development of new, tailored clinical guidelines in ophthalmology. The project is expected to start in March 2024.

Management team:

Prof. Dr. Nicole Eter

Project Co-Coordination, Clinical Management
University Hospital Muenster
Clinic for Ophthalmology
Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1
Gebäude D15
48149 Muenster

Telefon: +49 251 83-56001

Prof. Dr. Nicole Eter
© University Hospital Muenster

Prof. Dr. Julian Varghese

Project Co-Coordination, Technical Management
University of Muenster
Medical Faculty
Institute for Medical Informatics

Telefon: +49 251 83 - 54714

Prof. Dr. Julian Varghese
© University Hospital Muenster

Prof. Dr. Andreas Stahl

Clinical Co-Leadership
University Medical Centre of Greifswald
Clinic and Polyclinic for Ophthalmology
17475 Greifswald

Telefon: +49 3834 86-5900

Prof. Stahl. © Laura Schirrmeister, 2022
Prof. Dr. Andreas Stahl
© Laura Schirrmeister, 2022