Help to develop the medicine of tomorrow!

A symbol photo for clinical research; Copyright: MHH / Karin Kaiser.A symbol photo for clinical research; Copyright: MHH / Karin Kaiser.

Medical Informatics Initiative: MHH asks patients for support

As of today, all inpatients at Hannover Medical School (MHH) can support medical research with their treatment data. "Help develop the medicine of tomorrow!", asks MHH President Michael Manns. The MHH is part of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). A nationwide standardised consent form enables medical research to obtain broad consent for the use of pseudonymised clinical data for the first time on the basis of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Such data is invaluable for the medicine of the future.

"The MHH is one of the most research-active university medical institutions in Germany. With the new initiative, in which many university hospitals are participating, we are jointly advocating medical progress," emphasises Professor Manns. The patient data will be made available to researchers at other German university hospitals and will also be used for joint, multi-centre research projects. The strict regulations of the EU Basic Data Protection Regulation are observed: This rules out the possibility of tracing the data back to the original person.

At the MHH, signed consent is valid for 30 years, which means that patient data may be stored and used for research purposes for up to 30 years if the person concerned does not revoke it. After five years, patients are asked for consent again.

The stored data may also be used for unforeseen questions. This is an important requirement for a wide range of research projects - from personalised medicine to the development of AI-based decision support tools. A model for the broad consent, the so-called Broad Consent, has been developed by the university hospitals participating in the Medical Informatics Initiative. Here you can find the sample text for patient consent.

Further information on the Medical Informatics Initiative can be found here.