CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Methods Inf Med 2018; 57(S 01): e50-e56
DOI: 10.3414/ME18-03-0003
Focus Theme – Editorial
Schattauer GmbH

German Medical Informatics Initiative

A National Approach to Integrating Health Data from Patient Care and Medical Research
Sebastian C. Semler
1   TMF – Technology, Methods and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research, Berlin, Germany
Frank Wissing
2   MFT – German Association of Medical Faculties, Berlin, Germany
Ralf Heyder
3   VUD – German Association of Academic Medical Centers, Berlin, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 18 May 2018

accepted: 18 May 2018

Publication Date:
17 July 2018 (online)


This article is part of the Focus Theme of Methods of Information in Medicine on the German Medical Informatics Initiative. The Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) was launched within the scope of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s (BMBF) Medical Informatics Funding Scheme, with the goal of developing infrastructure for the integration of clinical data from patient care and medical research in Germany. Its work is to be performed over the course of a decade (2016–2025) across three funding phases, with the first two concentrating on university hospitals. During the conceptual phase (now concluded), a central supporting project ensured coordination – and laid the ground for standardised solutions for all the initiative’s sites and scientific consortia that will enable effective data use and exchange, both for health care as well as research. The conceptual phase focused on the following: a) interoperability, through the consistent use of international standards (from an early stage, i.e. primary IT systems in patient care); b) standardised templates for patient consent and harmonised data protection; and c) standard rules for data use and access (monitoring and safeguarding access to data). On this basis, the initiative aims in the long term to improve medical research (particularly health care research, using data from treatments), to accelerate the transfer of knowledge from research to patient care – and to provide important impetus for the digitalization of medicine in Germany.