The HiGHmed site Berlin picks up speed

HiGHmed, as one of the four consortia funded by the BMBF within the Medical Informatics Initiative, was further strengthened by the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) in October 2018. In particular, the established networking and roll-out opportunities based on many regional medical hospitals and rehabilitation organizations in Berlin and Brandenburg will be hugely beneficial.

The HiGHmed site Berlin will receive EUR 2.6 million funding until the end of 2021 and is coordinated by the principle investigator and CIO of the Charité, Martin Peuker. Since January 2019, the local project management and work package leaders have been assigned. In detail, Dr. Birgit Heinz has been assigned as project manager, Michael Mallach and Dr. Peter Brunecker as speakers of the Medical Data Integration Center (MeDIC), PD Robert Preißner for data use & access, Prof. Sylvia Thun for interoperability, and Prof. Petra Gastmeier and Dr. Michael Behnke for the HiGHmed use case Infection Control. With the project team members on board, existing cooperation will be enhanced across HiGHmed sites, expertise will be exchanged and the team will contribute to HiGHmed deliverables.

Dedicated components, licenses and servers which are designed, implemented and operated to comply with the HiGHmed technical requirements, are installed, e.g. a FHIR server and the Clinical Knowledge Manager. Licenses for openEHR distribution and a terminology server are included in the procurement processes.

With the existing cluster alert system (CLAR) preventing the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms, the principle method of the HiGHmed use case Infection Control is already implemented at the Charité. The HiGHmed site Berlin is focusing on adapting the existing knowledge of CLAR towards the HiGHmed standards for interoperability, i.e. FHIR and Snomed CT.

Prof. Sylvia Thun and her team further developed an approach to improve lectures for semantical interoperability as described in the HiGHmed brochure “Up the stairs – to your success in digital competence for better health care and research”. It is worth mentioning that HiGHmed and Charité became members of TMF e.V. in December 2018. Furthermore, an initial HiGHmed privacy concept was approved by the TMF Data Protection working group with contributions of Dr. Josef Schepers from the core unit E-Health and Interoperability at the BIH. Within the working group Consent of the Medical Informatics Initiative, Prof. Daniel Strech from the QUEST Center of the BIH is speaker and contributes his expertise in translational bioethics. Currently, the Charité is appointing members for a local data use & access committee and plans to contribute to the HiGHmed survey "Broad Consent implementation" from the Charité’s point of view.

For the cross-consortia use case “Collaboration on Rare Diseases” (CORD) of the Medical Informatics Initiative, the National Steering Group (NSG) recently recommended an appropriate application. Prof. Heiko Krude from the Department of Experimental Pediatric Endocrinology of the Charité and Dr. Josef Schepers are assigned for leadership.