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.
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.
ELIXIR teams up with TMF to develop Ethics Policy
TMF data protection experts will develop Ethics policy for the protection, access and management of sensitive data in biomedical research
18 January 2016. ELIXIR’s Ethics
policy will provide a framework of ethical and regulatory standards for the
provision of sensitive personal data originating from life-science research.
Based on relevant regulations and best practices, it will cover ethics
committee approvals, data provision and data access, informed consent,
confidentiality and data security amongst others.
TMF’s initial evaluation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation draft as of 15 December 2015
Statement on the outcome of the trilogue
23 December 2015. On 15 December 2015, the final
text of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was agreed following
three-way ‘trilogue’ negotiations between the European Commission, Council and
Parliament. The next step is a vote in Parliament; however, further significant
changes are not expected. TMF has examined the text and made an initial
evaluation on the likely impact of the provisions on (bio)medical research.
“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
December 2015. The Lübeck Interdisciplinary Centre
for Biobanking has developed a data protection concept based on TMF’s generic
concepts – and has secured approval from the TMF data protection working group.
In this interview, Petra Duhm-Harbeck (Lübeck) and Gisela Antony (Marburg)
outline what this process involved, and explain how the working group’s
advisory service can support research projects.
The TMF data protection advisory service: tailored, real-world advice for medical research projects
Support is based on TMF’s generic data protection concepts – while a workshop enables working group rapporteurs to provide consistently excellent advice
17 December 2015. The TMF data protection working
group offers practical, tailored advice to medical researchers designing data
protection concepts for specific projects. After receiving this guidance,
project teams can apply for approval from the group – supporting the
preliminary evaluation of such concepts as required by law. “The advisory
service is based on the TMF guide to data protection for medical research
projects, and it has proven its worth in practice,” commented Professor Klaus
Pommerening, long-standing head of the working group. He made his comments at a
workshop created to strengthen dialogue amongst the group’s rapporteurs; it was
held on 17 December, 2015, in Berlin.
Today, predictive molecular testing is available for 35 per cent of all tumour types
In future, high-quality medical research will only be achieved in conjunction with biobanks
14 December 2015. “Today, we have predictive biomarkers that enable targeted
therapies for 35 per cent of all tumour types.
Biobanks are the basis for this achievement,” stated Professor Manfred Dietel (Charité
University Hospital, Berlin) in his keynote address
at the fourth National Biobank Symposium. The event took place on 9 and 10
December 2015 in the German capital. “The positive evolution of this event demonstrates the importance
biobanks have gained in recent years. In future, biobanks will be key to high-quality
research,” emphasised Professor Michael Krawczak (University Medical Centre,
Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel Campus), who, as Chairman of the TMF Board of
Directors, opened the Symposium.