After last year’s online event, this year it was time for the first hybrid event format under the MIRACUM umbrella in Mannheim. With much pride, we can now report on a very successful event and provide the presentations and video recordings.
The subjects of the symposium included further developments in the use cases and data integration centers (DIC), ethical aspects of using clinical data for research, IT support for COVID -19 research, merging patient data from the DIC with data on biospecimens and making them usable, and innovative approaches in online teaching. In addition, the four Digital Progress Hubs of the MIRACUM – Consortium (MIDIA-Hub, MiHUBx, LeMeDaRT, and DECIDE) were presented as well as the successfully acquired junior research groups (CDS2USE, EgoEstMed, AI-RON, Junior research group in the area of interactive generation and simulation of prognostic, personalized digital patient models). Other presentations dealt with the importance of the Hospital Future Act for the MII and the ontology-based terminology standard SNOMED CT. Furthermore, the cross-consortium projects within the framework of the MII were presented: On the one hand, ABIDE_MI in close cooperation with the German Biobank Node, which has set itself the goal of making biospecimens and patient data usable for research. On the other hand, the CODEX project of the Network of University Medicine (NUM), with the goal of establishing a nationwide, uniform, data protection-compliant infrastructure for the storage of Covid-19 research datasets.
There was great joy among the participants to finally be able to meet colleagues in person again after a long period of online meetings, albeit with the necessary distance and face masks. For there were plenty of topics to listen to and to discuss.
We want to thank the international speakers for their excellent presentations and our colleagues in Mannheim for the great organization. We are already looking forward to the next symposium (date will be released as soon as possible) in Gießen.
In addition, we are pleased to announce the publication of the MIRACUM Journal in the context of the annual symposium. The current version is now available on our homepage.
The Independent Trusted Third Party (TTP) of the University Medicine Greifswald has released significant updates of the TTP tools E-PIX, gPAS, and gICS, all of which being part of the MIRACOLIX toolbox. Besides numerous improvements and new features, existing authentication and authorization mechanisms of E-PIX®, gPAS® and gICS® have now been enabled to interact with the open source SSO solution KeyCloak.
In the new version 2.13.0, the consent management gICS® has an intuitively usable dashboard. In addition, gICS is delivered for the first time with the TTP-FHIR gateway, which supports querying of consent information in the HL7-FHIR standard. Further details and the link to the download can be found in the news section of ths-greifswald.de.
E-PIX supports PPRL processes (Privacy-Preserving-Record-Linkage) using Bloom filters and allows a cross-site record linkage of patients without having to exchange demographic information such as given name, family name, date of birth, etc. The bloom filters can be modified accordingly and the double hashing and random hashing methods have been implemented. Further details and the link to the download can be found in the news section of ths-greifswald.de.
The performance of gPAS has been increased by additional caching algorithms. This enables even faster response times for very large data sets. In addition, basic functionalities for generating and querying pseudonyms are now available via FHIR® API. Further details and the link to the download can be found in the news section of ths-greifswald.de.
The German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure, de.NBI in short, is a project funded by the BMBF for six years to design and implement a platform for high-quality and sustainably usable bioinformatics software and services. The network offers support and training for a broad spectrum of data analyses and bundles bioinformatics expertise in Germany. With the de.NBI Cloud and the Galaxy analysis platform, the de.NBI also makes IT infrastructure and storage capacities freely available to all scientists. Reproducible and trustworthy infrastructures are not only important for scientific research, they are essential for any medical application and patient care. One goal of the de.NBI network is therefore to certify the de.NBI Cloud established in the project, thus make it usable for sensitive data, and use cases in clinical practice, such as those promoted by the Medical Informatics Initiative.
The medical informatics initiative aims to create the conditions for closer collaboration between research and care. In the four-year project currently underway, all of Germany’s university hospitals are working together with research institutions, companies, health insurance companies and patient representatives to develop the framework conditions that will enable findings from research to reach patients directly. With ten university hospitals, the MIRACUM consortium (Medical Informatics in Research and Medicine) is the largest consortium and has three concrete use cases in which it addresses the optimization of patient recruitment, the development of machine learning methods, and the support of the molecular tumor board. The use cases show very well the numerous intersections between de.NBI and MIRACUM.
The MIRACUM use case From Knowledge to Action – Support for the Molecular Tumor Board, as one example, strives to identify potentially effective treatment options with targeted therapy for tumor patients after guideline-based treatment has been exhausted in the context of precision medicine. To this end, members of the MIRACUM project and de.NBI are working together to integrate analysis techniques into patient care in the form of bioinformatics workflows. In the MIRACUM use case, an analysis workflow, the MIRACUM Pipe, has already been developed for DNA sequencing that combines MIRACUM’s bioinformatics and clinical expertise. This is also available in the Galaxy version with the corresponding tools and frameworks from de.NBI. With such workflows, the high-throughput data measured in the laboratory can be processed in such a way that they can then be visualized in the translational research platform cBioPortal in an interactive PDF report and ultimately provide clinicians with decisive support in the preparation of a therapy recommendation. The Galaxy framework supported by de.NBI ensures high usability and reproducibility of the results.
de.NBI and the projects funded by the medical informatics initiative complement each other and build on each other in order to ensure a reliable and secure IT infrastructure between research and patient care in Germany.
This is the headline of this year’s MIRACUM Journal and captures the core of the activities in the consortium quite well. Especially the past year has shown how important it is to bring research into practice. In the fourth issue we have therefore placed a special focus on activities in the context of COVID-19, namely on the NUM CODEX project.
Nevertheless, we would also like to report on the progress and successes of the consortium beyond COVID-19. The next milestones were reached in the MIRACUM use cases. And the cross-site use cases, CORD_MI and POLAR_MI, are also picking up speed. Moreover, ABIDE_MI was just recently added to this list, the background and aims of which are highlighted in Journal #4.
Keyword “addition”: We are looking forward to welcoming several junior research groups in the near future. In the Journal the already established group “CDS2USE” from Dresden will be introduced. Furthermore, there have been some activities in the area of supporting young researchers. Besides the Online Master “Biomedizinische Informatik und Data Science“, the MIRACUM Spring and Summer Schools have developed to successful formats as can be read in the Journal.
we would like to present to you the progress and perspectives of the MIRACUM consortium, but also interesting aspects from the medical informatics initiative (MII) and the “Netzwerk Universitätsmedizin” (NUM). Therefore, we cordially invite you to the fourth MIRACUM Symposium, which will be held as a hybrid event on July 15 and 16, 2021 in Mannheim.
The subject of the symposium will be further developments in data integration centers (DIC) and use cases, ethical aspects of using clinical data for research, IT support for COVID-19 research, merging patient data from DIC with data on biospecimens and making them usable, and innovative approaches in online teaching. The four “Digitale FortschrittsHubs Gesundheit” of the MIRACUM consortium will also be presented, likewise the four successfully acquired junior research groups. Further presentations address the significance of the Hospital Futures Act (KHGZ) for the MII and the ontology-based terminology standard SNOMED CT.
We look forward to welcoming you virtually to our symposium!
Prof. Dr. Paul Schmücker und Prof. Dr. Thomas Ganslandt
Hochschule Mannheim / Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim