Author Archive:Christian Knell

ByChristian Knell

MIRACUM journal successfully launched

Just in time for the MIRACUM Kick-Off Symposium, we proudly present the first issue of the MIRACUM journal, published on February 22nd 2018. This journal illustrates the MIRACUM concepts/use cases/results and presents the highlights of the last year. It also gives a regular update and review of the Medical Informatics Initiative in general.

The first issue addresses the Medical Informatics Initiative in general, briefly introduces the other three funded consortia and presents the synopsis of the MIRACUM concept. We present the core concepts of the MIRACUM Data Integration Centres and the MIRACOLIX toolbox as well as the Uses Cases and our programme for strengthening medical informatics. Finally, results from first federated large scale analysis on stroke and colorectal cancer treatment (which were published in international scientific journals in January 2019) are illustrated.

ByChristian Knell

MIRACUM Kicked-Off

On February 22nd and 23rd, we celebrated the start of the MIRACUM programme with a Kick-Off Symposium in Erlangen. With around 250 national and international guests, we succeeded to introduce the scope and spectrum of our consortium. Specifically, we demonstrated the structure of the MIRACUM Data Integration Centres, and we presented our three Use Cases to the broad audience: Use Case 1 focuses on “Study registries and patient recruitment”, Use Case 2 deals with “Prediction models for Asthma/COPD and brain tumours”, and Use Case 3 covers “Precision medicine with exemplary molecular tumour boards”. Of course, also the strategy for “Strengthening Medical Informatics” – e.g. our new master programme – was unfolded.

In addition, Sebastian Semler (head of the TMF) presented the structures of the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the Medical Informatics Initiative, and the NSC working groups “Interoperability”, “Data Sharing” and “Consent” were introduced, that represent important activities of standardization and dissemination and favourably complement the MIRACUM agenda. On top, we had the pleasure to have the members of our international scientific advisory board presenting on their research focuses including international data sharing, interoperability and big data in precision medicine.

The MIRACUM party night on February 22nd provided the perfect chance for networking and getting acquainted within the working groups of our project – with the GMDS Allstars being the icing on the cake.

Please find the presentations of the MIRACUM Kick-Off Symposium 2018 here.

Participating members of the MIRACUM International Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Richard Frackowiak – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Arie Hasman – Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Kai U. Heitmann – HL7 Deutschland / Heitmann Consulting and Services / Gefyra GmbH, Köln
  • George Hripcsak – Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York City, USA
  • Lisa McShane – Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis NIH, Bethesda, USA
  • Stefan Schulz – Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Medical University Graz, Austria
  • Ahmet Zehir (on behalf of Charles Sawyers) – Clinical Bioinformatics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, USA

ByChristian Knell

11 credit points: Miracum Kick-Off Symposium is certified by the BLAEK

The MIRACUM Kick-off Symposium has been certified by the Bayerische Landesärztekammer with 11 credit points in category A with 4 credits on 22nd February and 7 credits on 23rd February 2018. The training is registered under the title “Datenintegrationszentren und Medical Data Science”. Please bring your sticker with your number to the symposium. For programme details, please visit here.

ByChristian Knell

First technical paper about federated analyses on the MIRACUM data with the OMOP common data model has been published

The OMOP common data model and the OHDSI tools are used as a core element in MIRACUM for developing a common data model, harmonizing terminologies as well as facilitating the federation of research queries/analyses across institutions. Already during the BMBF MI-I conceptual phase, the Chair of Medical Informatics Erlangen around Prof. Prokosch developed an OMOP/OHDSI-based pilot implementation and supported its deployment at the consortium´s eight university hospitals.

To this end, the OMOP vocabularies and terminological mappings were analysed for their applicability on the German dataset/terminologies and adaptions were implemented were required for importing the facts into the OMOP common data model. Then, the process for importing the data from the source files was designed and distributed among eight German university hospitals in form of a preconfigured virtual machine with the OMOP database and the OHDSI tools as well as the jobs to import the data and conduct the analysis. Finally, the generated results from federated/distributed queries focusing on colorectal cancer yielded 18,000 patient cases visualized in a SunBurst plot. All in all, the data of in total 400,000 inpatients with more than 900,000 visits and 1 million conditions and procedures have been imported in those MIRACUM pilot DIC research data repositories.

ByChristian Knell

First medical paper based on the MIRACUM data integration centres (DIC rel. 0.9) has been published

“Regional Differences in Thrombectomy Rates” have been reported by clinicians from the MIRACUM sites, based on the secondary use of anonymized billing data. As a first research question to be tackled with the MIRACUM DIC infrastructure already during the BMBF MI-I conceptual phase neurologists and neuroradiologists from the University Hospital Freiburg triggered the question, how the international recommendation (2015) to treat acute ischemic stroke with mechanical thrombectomy, in addition to intravenous thrombolysis within 4.5 hours when eligible, has been implemented in the eight MIRACUM university hospitals since then. Statistical analysis procedures for this purpose have been defined, implemented and tested locally at one MIRACUM site and were afterwards distributed to all MIRACUM sites. At all MIRACUM sites the DIC 0.9 release included data elements of the MI-I core dataset basic modules person, demographics, encounters, diagnosis and procedures. Thus ICD-codes were used for cohort identification and R-based analysis included the respective procedure codes for treatment comparisons. The observed increase of thrombectomy rates and drip-and-ship procedures without a significant difference between weekdays and weekends or patients of different ages is substantiating a rapid implementation of the stroke guidelines within the analyzed neurovascular centers. The research illustrated how the first i2b2-based prototype of the MIRACUM Data Integration Center already contributes to health services research in Germany.

Haverkamp C, Ganslandt T, Horki P, Boeker M, Dörfler A, Schwab S, Berkefeld J, Pfeilschifter W, Niesen WD, Egger K, Kaps M, Brockmann MA, Neumaier-Probst E, Szabo K, Skalej M, Bien S, Best C, Prokosch HU, Urbach H. Regional Differences in Thrombectomy Rates : Secondary use of Billing Codes in the MIRACUM (Medical Informatics for Research and Care in University Medicine) Consortium. Clin Neuroradiol. 2018 Jan 8. doi: 10.1007/s00062-017-0656-y. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29313057.

ByChristian Knell

New professorship for eHealth and Medical Data Science in Gießen

The University of Applied Sciences Gießen (Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, THM) opens the call for a W2 professorship in the disciplines of eHealth and Medical Data Science. The candidate will represent the area of research and teaching and is expected to hold further proficiencies in at least one of the four topics:

  • Knowledge-based systems and machine learning
  • Development of algorithms and pattern recognition
  • Medical adaptive interpretation of sensoric data
  • Medical software development and image processing

We need your printed application not later than 8th January 2018.

You find more information here:

ByChristian Knell

Mannheim prepares for MIRACUM start: Kick-off meeting on 26th September 2017

Before the start of the development and networking phase of the MIRACUM project in January 2018, the University Medicine of Mannheim and the University of Applied Science of Mannheim celebrate the funding of the MIRACUM consortium. The MIRACUM partners will present the basic structures and contents of the MIRACUM projects to local representatives in Mannheim. In addition, they will discuss the possibility of integrating the regional health landscape and of networking with the representatives of the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar, DE:HUB and the office for urban development and cluster management.

ByChristian Knell

MIRACUM receives a funding of €32.1 Mio for the German Medical Informatics Initiative (MI-I)

Today the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has announced that the MIRACUM consortium will receive a funding of €32.1 Mio for its concept of establishing data integration centres (DIC) by implementing use cases to apply data from the respective DIC in research and care and for its concept of strengthening medical informatics in Germany.

Four out of the seven consortia, which have started  into the MI-I conceptual phase in 2016, have now been selected for the MI-I development and networking phase by an international jury of experts in the fields of medicine and medical informatics. The funding period of four years will start in January 2018.

MIRACUM – this is eight universities with eight university hospitals, two universities of applied sciences and one industrial partner spread over five German states. A major focus is on the establishment of data integration centres to link and exchange data of the eight university hospitals. Data protection and data security are given top priority in this venture.

Johanna Wanka, Minister of Education and Research, envisions that „every physician, no matter whether he/she is working in a hospital or as a general practitioner or as a medical specialist, can retrieve all the experience and research results available at the touc h of a button, to include this information into his/hertherapeutic decision. By doing so, the therapy and the counselling of patients will still get better in the future“.

First results have already illustrated the opportunities which arise from the federated analysis of data within the eight MIRACUM DIC. A cohort of stroke patients has been identified and the adherence of clinicians to the recently modified stroke guidelines has been analyzed. In a second small project and together with the HD4CR consortium, real-world clinical pathways have been analyzed for more than 18.000 colorectal cancer patients of eleven maximum care hospitals.

BMBF press report:


ByChristian Knell

e-Health and Medical Data Science: new W2 professorship in Gießen

The TH Mittelhessen announces a W2 professorship with the focus on e-Health and Medical Data Science to boost the team of medical informatics in Gießen. The candidate is expected to hold proficiencies in at least one of the four topics:

  • Knowledge-based systems and machine learning
  • Development of algorithms and pattern recognition
  • Medical adaptive interpretation of sensoric data
  • Medical software development and image processing

Further information is provided in the job posting of the TH Mittelhessen.

ByChristian Knell

MIRACUM enhances bioinformatics competencies in the context of cancer research with a professorship in Frankfurt

In collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Medical Faculty of the Goethe-University announces a new W2 professorship for “Bioinformatics in Oncology” in Frankfurt. Within the field of bioinformatics, she/he will be focussing on oncogenic signal transduction, systems biology and medicine (e.g. data integration) as well as on high throughput experimentation, especially in proteomics. The position will be located at the University Hospital Frankfurt and collaborate with the scientific and clinical research community of the DKTK (, the DKFZ ( and the DKTK partner site Frankfurt / Mainz.

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