THESEUS-MEDICO, an external research project, could help doctors perform diagnoses and identify the right treatment.¹ THESEUS-MEDICO is one of six application scenarios of the research program Theseus of the German Federal Ministry of Economics. Since late 2007, approximately 60 partners have been developing new technologies for the "Internet of services." In the case of THESEUS-MEDICO, researchers from Siemens are working with partners at the University Hospital of Erlangen, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft; all of which are German institutions. THESEUS-MEDICO is one of the highlights at the concluding event of the research program Theseus, which took place in Berlin, Germany.
THESEUS-MEDICO’s big plans
THESEUS-MEDICO will combine medical knowledge with new image-processing methods, knowledge-based information processing techniques, and machine learning technologies. This will allow doctors more efficient access to a wide variety of types of medical information: data from medical imaging technologies such as ultrasound, X-ray, or computed tomography (CT) scans, and associated information such as images, reports, or laboratory data that are scattered, unconnected, and have very heterogeneous formats. THESEUS-MEDICO analyzes the content of medical data, structures it, links it with other information, and makes it readily accessible.
The software identifies distinctive features in the images and catalogues data automatically. It not only collects and processes reference images but also takes into account treatment and laboratory reports from many different and scattered storage media in hospitals.
With THESEUS-MEDICO, for example, an anatomical structure like a "lymph node" referred to in a doctor's letter is linked with the corresponding location in medical images, which are made accessible through a hyperlink in the text. And, with just one more click, the doctor can access extra information from an online knowledge base.
Let the experts discuss
At the concluding event of research program Theseus in Berlin, and as part of the program module "Internet of Services," Cord Staehler, Chief Technology Officer of Healthcare, Siemens, talked about the development status and perspectives of an intelligent information management in medicine.
In his introductory note, Staehler highlighted the patients' perspective: every patient would rather have his physician deal more with him personally instead of staring at his computer most of the time. Here, computer-based assistance systems come into play. Subsequently, at a panel discussion, Staehler talked the "Internet of Services" over with Thomas Endres, MD, Chief Information Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Stefan Wess, MD, head of mid-sized company Attensity Europe GmbH.
The concepts and information presented in this paper are based on research and are
not commercially available