HiGHmed partners on the road - Start of the HiGHmed fact finding mission

As part of the conceptual phase of the HiGHmed initiative, consortium partners will visit outstanding European and U.S. medical institutions active in the field of medical informatics. Such visits will serve different purposes in terms of benchmarking and networking. Apart from gaining insights into state-of-the-art technologies and their application in clinical practice as well as existing infrastructures, partners will strive to build lasting collaborations which will ensure the establishment of the HiGHmed initiative at an international level from the very start. The mission will thus contribute to increasing the quality of the offered solutions and the impact of HiGHmed as a whole.

On the road
On the road

The mission started on December 6, 2016, with a two-day trip to Luxembourg and the Netherlands. On the first day, representatives from DKFZ, the University Medical Centre Goettingen and EURICE visited the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB). Led by Prof. Rudi Balling, LSCB participants presented their impressive work in the field of neurodegenerative diseases using state-of-the-art technologies. Prof. Reinhard Schneider, head of the Bioinformatics Core facility, and his group gave an insight into their use of tranSMART and the REDCap application. The presentations were followed by lively discussions.

HiGHmed partners in Luxembourg
HiGHmed partners in Luxembourg

From Luxembourg the group went on to Nijmegen to visit Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc). Radboudumc is a leading academic center for patient care, education and research, with the mission 'to have a significant impact on healthcare'. Arnoud van der Maas, Chief Science Officer and builder of Radboudumc's Digital Research Environment (DRE), presented their solution to the handling of clinical and research data under the system of FAIR data stewardship. Kees van Bochove, CEO of The Hyve, whose specialization is leveraging open source software for bioinformatics and translational research, presented available tools and relevant initiatives in the Netherlands. Dell EMC as an industrial partner of Radboudumc participated in the meeting as well.

HiGHmed partners in Nijmegen
HiGHmed partners in Nijmegen

In summary, the first stage of the mission is considered a success by the participants, as the visits have increased their knowledge and understanding of available solutions and initiatives in the field of medical informatics in two neighbouring countries.

The group would like to thank the hosts and all participants of the meetings for their time and the highly informative and interesting exchange of ideas.

In January 2017 the journey will lead HiGHmed partners to Norway and Denmark. Read the report on our HiGHmed website!