Smart Data and Digital Health
• German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence
On October 10th, 2016, the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) New York, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Smart Data Forum, German Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and Berlin Big Data Center hosted a panel discussion on Smart Data and Digital Health. The speakers discussed new developments in healthcare with a focus on data aggregation for patients, analysis and processing of aggregated data, and possible new technologies capable of bringing significant changes to the healthcare sector as we know it today.
Consul General Brita Wagener opened the panel discussion and provided introductory remarks. Dr. Joann Halpern, the director of the GCRI and moderator of the panel, welcomed the nineteen members from the Smart Data Forum to the German House and introduced the speakers.
Dr. Andreas Goerdeler, from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy gave a presentation on Germany’s interest in the current development of big data technologies in digital health. He discussed the current situation of the German healthcare system and emphasized the growing demand for healthcare and digital healthcare services, which have been driven by a change in Germany’s demographics. The aging population provides a strong incentive for enhanced digitization of the German healthcare system. However, there is room for growth in the digitization of economic activities in this sector. Dr. Goerdeler explained how the German government supports digital healthcare activities and how the digital agenda seeks to build on these activities by promoting research and development in this area. His research, which covers a large spectrum of topics, has been used as an incentive to launch market-ready solutions and innovative business models. Research programs that are being funded can be, but are not limited to the smart data and smart services world. Dr. Goerdeler also introduced the Industrial Data Space Association (IDS), a project funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education and the Fraunhofer Institute. The association targets secure data exchange between different platforms and industries.
The next speaker, Prof. Dr. Klemens Budde from Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, presented the Medical Allround-Care Service Solution (MACSS), a project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. The main goals of the MACSS are to support the need for an interconnected treatment for chronically ill patients as well as real-time bidirectional communication within a single platform for optimized drug dosing and surveillance. In addition, the patient should be able to decide which data to share with the data trust center at Charité. Prof. Dr. Budde ended his speech by describing the different medical and clinical utilities that MACSS offers as well as the patient-centered approach by integrating the patient, the high acceptance rate of the app, improvements in drug safety through a mobile real-time app, better patient surveillance, less hospitalization and big data analysis.
The third speaker, Dr. Ashish Atreja from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai spoke about accelerating innovation and principles for evaluation. He began by presenting the exponential innovation growth in apps, wearables and corresponding analytics. Dr. Atreja outlined both negative and positive effects of digital health products by showing real cases and some of the current research being done in this area. He underlined the lack of valid evidence in the digital health sector regarding how to engage patients, and the efficacy and effectiveness of digital health products. Dr. Atreja suggested that the combination of innovative digital technologies with evidence-based medicine will lead to the best outcomes in digital health research.
The last speaker, Dr. Sean Zhou from Siemens Medical Solutions, focused on the topic of image intelligence in the context of digital health. Dr. Zhou started out by providing an overview of how image intelligence has changed over the last 20 years. He then presented two image intelligence tools – Computer Aided Detection (CAD) and Automatic Landmarking and Parsing of Human Activity (ALPHA), which lead to increasing reader confidence as well as the improvement of clinical productivity. In the context of big data and the cloud, Dr.Zhou spoke about the Siemens “teamplay” application. Siemens teamplay is a cloud-based application that brings together healthcare professionals in order to advance medicine and human health. With respect to a patient’s security, Dr.Zhou pointed out that Siemens teamplay supports compliance with local regulations and comes with different data level privacies.
The evening concluded with an engaging Q&A session followed by a networking reception.