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TMF – its purpose and potential

Researchers voice their views

A number of researchers active in TMF – most of them for a number of years – were interviewed in 2014 at TMF’s annual conference, in Jena, Germany.

  1. Interviews

Position Papers and Statements

The TMF issues position papers, statements and expert opinions to comment on national and European policy making processes on a regular basis. These papers are coordinated and agreed upon by a broad range of stakeholders within health research and the wider health care community, depending on the issue under discussion.


Medical informatics and data collection gaining value and visibility

Over 100 researchers attend an international workshop on data sharing and integration organised by TMF and GMDS

14 July 2016. “Start small and keep it simple; bridge the informatics-research divide” and “don’t overpromise” on what the data can do – these are a sampling of the insights Professor Jeffrey S. Brown of Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA shared with attendees of a workshop on data sharing and integration in Berlin on 12 and 13 July 2016. Professor Brown was the first of five international speakers at the event, jointly organised by TMF and GMDS (the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometrics and Epidemiology). It provided an opportunity to learn from international experience and expertise prior to the operational phase of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)’s medical informatics initiative.


Advances in medical informatics in Germany: TMF publishes new annual IT report

Spotlight on IT architecture – A planning tool for university hospitals and healthcare institutions active in research

21 April 2016. Effective management of research data is key to ensuring findings in the medical field are reproducible and reliable. Consequently, there should be long-term visibility into each data source, including origin, time stamp, and authorship. To this end, suitable IT tools must be developed – particularly for research projects that are interdisciplinary, and involve multiple institutions. This is the recommendation made by the authors of TMF’s latest annual IT report: IT Infrastructures in Patient-Oriented Research (available in German only, with the title: IT-Infrastrukturen in der patientenorientierten Forschung). “We need to keep pace with international developments while creating these tools,” emphasises Prof. Frank Ückert, a member of the TMF Board of Directors, and Head of the Division of Medical Informatics for Translational Oncology (MITRO) at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ). As a member of TMF’s IT Reviewing Board, he collaborated on this year’s report.


Current position statements

AMG amendment and update on the EU General Data Protection Regulation

9 May 2016. On 4 May 2016, TMF issued a joint statement with the Network of Coordination Centres for Clinical Trials and other institutions in response to the German federal government’s publication of draft legislation for a fourth amendment to the German Drug Act (AMG), and other relevant legislation. In addition, TMF has updated its detailed statement (Infobrief; available in German only) on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the document has been available since 15 April 2016.


Data, infrastructure, staff: medical research must meet the challenges of strict quality requirements head on

Researchers examine quality criteria in medical research at TMF’s 2016 annual conference, and take an optimistic look at the future

25 April 2016. Effective IT infrastructure in medical research is more than a matter of the technology deployed. To ensure research data is captured and leveraged to best effect, highly professional staff, committed to quality, are of the essence. To this end, ongoing exchange amongst peers is a priority. “Collaboration and communication are key in today’s medical research – for the projects themselves, and to meet quality criteria and standards. Everyone encounters the same problems, and TMF provides an opportunity to learn from one another – and to reach a consensus on difficult questions,” underlines Professor Rainer Röhrig at the start of TMF’s 8th annual conference on 16 and 17 March 2016. Röhrig, a member of TMF’s Board of Directors, chaired this year’s event, which took place in Oldenburg, Germany. Many of the speakers and attendees at the conference viewed the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s (BMBF) current call for proposals (CFP) for medical IT as an excellent opportunity for greater interaction and improved quality in medical research.


Key challenges facing biobanks include long-term viability and greater integration

2016 ISBER Annual Meeting & Exhibits: German biobanking networks showcase themselves to an international audience

15 April 2016. In recent years, German biobanking has gained considerable momentum – not least because of comprehensive funding. And now, establishing efficient and effective infrastructure, the next step is to achieve greater inter-organisational integration. These were the observations and recommendations of leading experts from German biobanks and networking initiatives during National Biobanking Day – which was co-organized with ISBER’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Berlin on 5 April 2016.


“IT system validation is more than just an end in itself”

Ronald Speer, Leipzig University, on the validation of IT systems in clinical research

April 2016. Today more than ever, researchers are leveraging software to support their projects. However, they must ensure that the software and the quality of clinical studies comply with applicable legislation and standards – in other words, that they are valid. In the past, TMF spearheaded a project on IT system validation for medical research. Now, a new project has been launched – to bring the results up to date, and to incorporate an auditing concept to ensure the same validation standards are used across research bodies. In the following interview, Ronald Speer from Leipzig University and the Leipzig Clinical Trial Centre clarifies what IT system validation entails in the context of clinical research, and identifies the challenges current research projects face.


High-quality biobanking is key to high-quality research

2016 international ISBER Annual Meeting & Exhibits, in partnership with TMF, on 5 – 8 April in Berlin

05 April 2016. Biobanks are valuable assets for leading-edge medical and environmental research. These high-quality collections of biological samples enable scientists to achieve reliable outcomes – and are the basis for successful and sustainable research. Against this background, representatives from international biobank communities are assembling at ISBER’s Annual Meeting & Exhibits conference from 5 to 8 April 2016 in Berlin – with the aim of transferring knowledge and exploring the latest biobanking ideas and developments. By international comparison, German initiatives have made significant progress in recent years. During the session on 5 April, National Biobanking Day in Germany, leading experts from the nation will present the insights gained in medical biobanking.


For further news articles see menu item News.


Medical informatics and data collection gaining value and visibility

Over 100 researchers attend an international workshop on data sharing and integration organised by TMF and GMDS


“Medical training does not devote enough attention to data protection or ethical issues”

Interview with Petra Duhm-Harbeck and Gisela Antony on the advisory service offered by TMF’s data protection working group

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