Within the Life Science Department of the University of Siegen the Competence Centre DMGD founded the research group Digital Practice to explore and to enable data medicine. The use of medical data to improve care and treatment of patients is particularly important in rural areas like the vicinity of Siegen, where a lack of general practitioners will become increasingly challenging for the society and existing doctor’s offices will have to treat more and more patients of older age and limited mobility. This is why the scientific approach of the research group follows the guiding principle of substituting patient mobility by data mobility.
Shaping healthcare processes: „Digital Practice“ as a telemedical center
This figure illustrates the concept of the Digital Practice as an intersectoral telemedical center with connected providers and patients. The path of the data is described, from the prescription of vital signs measurement by a general practitioner (GP) to data analysis and interpretation through AI, followed by data retrieval (practice management system) for evaluation and feedback by the general practitioner. The Digital Practice enables consultations with medical experts via a consultation infrastructure before the general practitioner initiates a feedback discussion with the patient and enters the results into the system. The DMGD and the closely interlinked units of the research group are aligned with this concept and are driving developments forward, together with key players from healthcare, politics and business. AI plays an important role within the work of the Digital Practice.
The established co-operations to doctor’s offices and hospitals as well as the anchoring in political and socially institutions will back up the activities of the research group by offering a real lab for testing the results of the group. This process is intensively pushed further. The research group is divided into three working groups, which are closely interlinked and build on each other.
Unit 1 | Advanced Measurement Technology
Sensor Technology, Monitoring of Vital Parameters
Vital data acquisition forms the patient’s front-end, where vital signs will be monitored using advanced measurement technology like sensing devices. The objective will be to perform measurement at patient’s home and to deliver the data automatically to a processing environment that is accessible by the doctor.
Unit 2 | Smart Infrastructure
AI and Cloud Technology, AI-enabled medical data processing
AI-enabled medical data processing will analyze the patient’s data and will carry out a pre-assessment for the doctor by e. g. putting the data in relation to large amounts of already existing data by means of AI in order to support the physician’s findings and diagnosis for an optimum treatment. This will save cost and effort while being less error prone at the same time.
Unit 3 | Multilateral Benefits
Dr. Thomas Neumann
Digitally supported forms of medical feedback and care
The final data assessment and the subsequent information of the patients with regard to the consequences, e.g. for the further course of therapy, is matter of the doctor. This research field includes all aspects of benefit assessment, communication design and acceptance analysis regarding the requirements of both physicians and patients.