Research at the Institute of Medical Informatics

The Institute of Medical Informatics is engaged in the following areas of research:

  • Linguistic processing of medical free texts
  • Development of image-based biomarkers
  • Development and testing of service platformsW

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Research areas

The Institute of Medical Informatics is involved in interdisciplinary projects aimed at developing systems that support diagnostics and treatment.

Current projects are:

  • The linguistic processing of medical free texts with automatic assignment of semantic interpretation
  • Developments for generating and calculating novel quantitative image-based biomarkers
  • The development and testing of service platforms in the healthcare sector for connecting patients with their team of physicians

MACSS project

The Medical All-round Care Service Solutions (MACSS) project enables digital communication between patients and their physicians. Specifically, it involves developing and testing a healthcare service platform which enables data exchange and interconnectivity between patients and their physicians. To this end, data from various souces are combined and analyzed.
An app that records all vital data about the patient is connected via a secure interface to the medical care center, thus providing physicians with patient information between visits and enabling them to make prompt changes to treatment. A prototype of the platform will be tested in the follow-up care of kidney transplant patients. This group is representative of other patients with chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

Magnetic resonance elastography

Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is an emerging non-invasive technology for the quantitative determination of mechanical tissue properties. The technique can be seen as a non-invasive counterpart to classical palpation findings. Its success lies in the fact that mechanical properties of tissue often undergo significant changes due to disease. MRE is based on three key steps: (1) the generation of low-frequency shear waves in tissue; (2) the coding of the resultant harmonic tissue motions in the MR signal phase; and (3) the calculation of spatially resolved maps of elastic tissue characteristics from the acquired phase images.

The MRE workgroup at the Charité has worked for years on the development of this new imaging modality, by spearheading fundamental technological and methodological innovations as well as exploring its application to new pathologies. MRE is now finding clinical application in the classification of liver fibroses. Recently it was applied in neurodegenerative diseases. Since MRE can also capture pressure-related parameters, it can be used in the assessment of cardiac function. The potential of MRE in diseases of the lung, skeletal muscles, breast tissue, kidneys and prostate is being examined.

Berliner Forschungsplattform Gesundheit (BFG)

The consortia project "Berliner Forschungsplattform Gesundheit" (Berlin Health Research Platform) is aimed at providing stakeholders in the business and scientific communities with innovative IT, linguistic and methodological tools for designing, planning and implementing research projects, clinical studies and quality management.

The overall objective of the BFG project is to develop methods and IT solutions to support clinical research. In particular, existing routine clinical data need to be efficiently processed and made available for the departments engaged in clinical research. The project focuses on the development of platform systems in hospitals to support clinical research. The use of structured existing data is to be enhanced with the semantic indexing and preparation of clinical free texts. Protecting the privacy of patient data is of the highest priority from the very beginning of the project.

Publications

Here you will find the most recent publications of the Institute of Medical Informatics.