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German Medical Informatics InitiativeA National Approach to Integrating Health Data from Patient Care and Medical Research
18 May 2018
accepted: 18 May 2018
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.
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