Reforming Medical Informatics in Germany

During the workshop on “Data Warehouse Systems as a Basis for Precision Medicine”, organized by the German Centres for Health Research (DZG) and held at the World Health Summit in Berlin on 11th October 2016, Ulli Prokosch, representative of the MIRACUM consortium, gave a talk on “Reforming Medical Informatics in Germany – Basis for Precision Medicine” and hence stimulated the discussion on this subject. He recommended broadening the spectrum of research and teaching in medical informatics to cover all potential data sources (clinical data, imaging data, the various level of omics data, patient generated data, social media data, environmental data – as, for example, illustrated in the recent paper “The path from big data to precision medicine” of Huang et al.)
At the same time Prof. Prokosch stated that the spectrum of methodologies in medical informatics also needed to be extended and that the respective core competencies should be included in the curricula of this field. In 2012 the American Medical Informatics Association already illustrated this in its paper on the “definition of biomedical informatics and specification of core competencies for graduate education in the discipline”.
Ulli Prokosch also highlighted publications such as “Elenco E. Defining digital medicine, 2015.” and „Martin-Sanchez FJ and Lopez-Campos GH. The New Role of Biomedical Informatics in the Age of Digital Medicine. 2016.” and thus emphasized that precision medicine will need not only the contributions but also the collaboration of a lot of researchers in this field. Furthermore, he prompted the German Medical Informatics Researchers to adopt the term “Biomedical Informatics” and to integrate the respective researchers in their community.
Only a strong interdisciplinary cooperation like this, organized under the umbrella  of biomedical informatics, will be able to master future challenges.