ByChristian Knell

MIRACUM journey to the USA

How does the US meet the challenges posed by the broad range of medical informatics? Which approaches may be taken as a role model for Germany? These and other questions were the focus of the MIRACUM trip to the hotspots of medical informatics in New York, Nashville and Boston. Altogether 18 senior staff scientists and clinical directors from eight German MIRACUM sites took part in this journey. It was particularly interesting to see that in the US there have been national consortia for several years now, which might serve as a role model for Germany.

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The first destination of the delegation was New York: they discussed current issues with the groups of Charles Sawyers (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Jyotishman Pathak (Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medicine) and George Hripcsak (Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University Medical Center). These were issues such as Data Sharing, Pharmacogenomic Clinical Decision Support, the Observation Health Data Sciences and Informatics Project (OHDSI), the PCORNET NYC Clinical Data Research Network, the analysis of electronic patient records or the Precision Medicine Initiative.

The second destination was the Vanderbilt University of Nashville where the group of Paul Harris presented, among other activities, a project on pharmacogenomics and reported on the eMERGE network.

Boston was the third destination of the MIRACUM-group´s tour. Here the TriNetX company presented their licensed software solution for a simple patient recruitment in clinical trials.

At last, the delegation met scientists of the Havard Medical School (Department of Biomedical Informatics). On this occasion the groups of Isaac Kohane, Kenneth Mandl and Paul Avillach presented, among others, their ‘Scalable Collaborative Infrastructrue for a Learning heathcare System (SCILHS)’ project as well as their i2b2/tranSMART approach on the basis of a high-capacity infrastructure within the Amazon Cloud.

The members of the MIRACUM delegation consider the results of their journey throughout positive and will surely maintain and strengthen the contact to their US colleagues.

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