CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Methods Inf Med 2018; 57(S 01): e66-e81
DOI: 10.3414/ME18-02-0002
Focus Theme – Original Articles
Schattauer GmbH

HiGHmed – An Open Platform Approach to Enhance Care and Research across Institutional Boundaries

Birger Haarbrandt*
1  Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School, Germany
,
Björn Schreiweis*
2  Institute for Medical Informatics and Statistics, Kiel University and University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Germany
,
Sabine Rey
3  Department of Medical Informatics, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Ulrich Sax
3  Department of Medical Informatics, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Simone Scheithauer
4  Central Division of Infection Control and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Otto Rienhoff
3  Department of Medical Informatics, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Petra Knaup-Gregori
5  Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
Udo Bavendiek
6  Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
,
Christoph Dieterich
7  Section of Bioinformatics and Systems Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Klaus Tschira Institute for Integrative Computational Cardiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
Benedikt Brors
8  Division of Applied Bioinformatics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
,
Inga Kraus
3  Department of Medical Informatics, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Caroline Marieken Thoms
3  Department of Medical Informatics, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Dirk Jäger
9  Department of Medical Oncology, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
Volker Ellenrieder
10  Department of Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Oncology, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Björn Bergh
11  Institute for Medical Informatics and Statistics, Kiel University and University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
,
Ramin Yahyapour
12  Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung Göttingen (GWDG), University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
,
Roland Eils
13  Digital Health Center, Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Charité, Berlin, Germany
14  Health Data Science Unit, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
HiGHmed Consortium
1  Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School, Germany
,
Michael Marschollek
1  Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 19 February 2018

accepted: 26 May 2018

Publication Date:
17 July 2018 (online)

Summary

Introduction: This article is part of the Focus Theme of Methods of Information in Medicine on the German Medical Informatics Initiative. HiGHmed brings together 24 partners from academia and industry, aiming at improvements in care provision, biomedical research and epidemiology. By establishing a shared information governance framework, data integration centers and an open platform architecture in cooperation with independent healthcare providers, the meaningful reuse of data will be facilitated. Complementary, HiGHmed integrates a total of seven Medical Informatics curricula to develop collaborative structures and processes to train medical informatics professionals, physicians and researchers in new forms of data analytics.

Governance and Policies: We describe governance structures and policies that have proven effective during the conceptual phase. These were further adapted to take into account the specific needs of the development and networking phase, such as roll-out, carerelated aspects and our focus on curricula development in Medical Inform atics.

Architectural Framework and Methodology: To address the challenges of organizational, technical and semantic interoperability, a concept for a scalable platform architecture, the HiGHmed Platform, was developed. We outline the basic principles and design goals of the open platform approach as well as the roles of standards and specifications such as IHE XDS, openEHR, SNOMED CT and HL7 FHIR. A shared governance framework provides the semantic artifacts which are needed to establish semantic interoperability.

Use Cases: Three use cases in the fields of oncology, cardiology and infection control will demonstrate the capabilities of the HiGHmed approach. Each of the use cases entails diverse challenges in terms of data protection, privacy and security, including clinical use of genome sequencing data (oncology), continuous longitudinal monitoring of physical activity (cardiology) and cross-site analysis of patient movement data (infection control).

Discussion: Besides the need for a shared governance framework and a technical infrastructure, backing from clinical leaders is a crucial factor. Moreover, firm and sustainable commitment by participating organizations to collaborate in further development of their information system architectures is needed. Other challenges including topics such as data quality, privacy regulations, and patient consent will be addressed throughout the project.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.