HiGHmed Presents Data Sharing Framework

The HiGHmed data sharing framework was presented to colleagues from all medical informatics consortia MIRACUM, SMITH, DIFUTURE and HiGHmed at Heilbronn University on Monday 27th January 2020. The framework uses a distributed architecture with shared responsibilities to support biomedical research. With this novel approach, no central components are needed to support researchers. Any partner within the data-sharing network can assume a coordinating role while executing data request.

The framework implements a distributed process engine based on the BPMN and HL7 FHIR standards. Every participating site runs a FHIR endpoint accessible by other sites and a business process engine in the local secured network. Authentication between sites is handled using client/server certificates. The process engines execute BPMN processes in order to coordinate local and remote steps necessary to enable cross-site data sharing and feasibility analyses. This includes access to local data repositories, use-and-access-committee decision support, consent filtering, privacy preserving record-linkage and pseudonymization. As part of the workshop the current state of the HiGHmed feasibility request BPMN processes as well as accompanying FHIR resources were discussed. The workshop was held together with a meeting of the medical informatics initiative (MII) process modelling task force and is part of a series of workshops within the MII on the topic of data sharing.

For more information on the HiGHmed data sharing framework go to https://github.com/highmed/highmed-dsf or contact Hauke Hund (hauke.hund -at- hs-heilbronn.de) and Reto Wettstein (reto.wettstein -at- med.uni-heidelberg.de).