gms | German Medical Science

SMITH Science Day 2022

23.11.2022, Aachen


Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues,

the shell is erected, the walls are up and the roof is covered – more or less. The interior fittings are missing and the garden is still a construction site. This is how one could describe the state of the Medical Informatics Initiative and also of the SMITH Consortium. A lot has happened in recent years – many results have been produced and the digitization of medicine in Germany has been advanced in many places together with the other consortia.

The scientists have made great efforts to make data and samples, collected as part of patient care at the participating university hospitals, usable for clinical research and have created opportunities for data exchange between the university hospitals and other research partners. The necessary work involves interoperability within and between the data integration centers as well as the implementation of common data standards and the establishment of the data use and access processes.

But there is still much to be done, and the past funding period has shown where weaknesses and problems lie.
For example, achieving the goals of interoperability was much more difficult than originally expected. As a result, the Data Integration Centers were not ready for production until 2022. Data sharing requires a culture to which we are committed, but there are still many obstacles.

Another aspect is to promote the training of professionals in the field of medical informatics and medical data sciences. The past few years have also shown how important it is to promote young talents in medical informatics. We had great problems finding suitable staff. It was not possible to fill all positions until 2021.

In total, around 140 employees work in the SMITH institutions in a very competent, lively and committed team. It is therefore crucial that the funding of all parts of the SMITH Consortium continues without interruption from 01/2023 and that the completion of the MII house succeeds.

Your Prof. Dr. Markus Löffler

Head of the SMITH Consortium
Director of the Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE), Leipzig University

Scientific Program