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  • International Symposium on improvement of the medical information infrastructure in Tohoku (Feb. 23-25)

    Events: 2015/02/25

    The International Symposium titled “The Learning Health System & Tohoku Medical Information Highway” was held at ToMMo from February 23-25, 2015. Focused on the future of medical information, the international symposium aimed to improve the advanced medical information infrastructure and medical care system in Tohoku, concentrating on the discussion of the Learning Health System (LHS). LHS is an information system which repeats self-learning, and has been embraced by medical organizations recently. It's hoped that LHS will be an effective tool to accelerate use of big data in the field of medicine and health care.


    Prof. Douglas Engel (University of Michigan)

    Researchers who lead the academic field of medical informatics, gathered for the symposium from across the world. The symposium had ten invites speakers, and organized by Prof. Charles Friedman (University of Michigan) and Prof. Jun Nakaya (ToMMo). Prof. Mark Frisse (Vanderbilt University) remarked “LHS can make advances in science by integrating small data fragments. Doctors are not alone having his or her patient information. There should be information known only to family of the patient or other medical staff. LHS will integrate a large amount of information.”


    “Formation of standards will be important for the development of LHS”, Dr. Rebecca Kush said.

    “LHS will be an effective infrastructure for making a contribution to the international development of health care systems”, Prof. Charles Friedman (University of Michigan) said. Prof. Brendan Delaney (King’s College London) introduced the LHS, “We are trying to promote LHS under the TRANSFoRm project, in cooperation with twenty one institutes from ten countries in Europe”. Dr. Shih-Feng Tsai (National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan) reported the cohort studies and genome research programs conducted in Taiwan. Prof. Mihoko Okada (President of Japan Association for Medical Informatics) said, “There are social elements to the research field of Medical Informatics. Research activity should have a long-term vision toward the future”. From ToMMo, Prof. Masayuki Yamamoto and other eight researchers presented projects at ToMMo.

    Participatory group discussion were held on each day. Participants were divided to four groups and debated topics such as “Governance and sustainability of ToMMo LHS” and “Clinical contributions to regional people by ToMMo”.


    Ms. Nicole Gunawansa (Luce Scholar from the USA)

    One of the participants, Ms. Nicole Gunawansa (Luce Scholar from the USA) gave her impressions, “During the short duration of the forum, I was exposed to theories of standardization in genomics and semantics, federated storage of medical data, and patient empowerment by increased harmonization between clinical and research fields. While abstract and difficult to initially conceptualize, I discovered that LHS endorses the movement towards more efficient and progressive healthcare by promoting the flow of information “from the lab bench to the bedside” (Friedman, Wong, & Blumenthal, 2010). I learn about the future relationship between research and medicine.”

    To conclude the symposium, Prof. Douglas Engel summarized the contents of the discussions over the three days.

    Program and movies are available online via the Tohoku Forum for Creativity website.


    Guest Speakers:

    Brendan Delaney (King's College London)
    James Douglas Engel (University of Michigan)
    Charles Friedman (University of Michigan)
    Mark Frisse (Vanderbilt University)
    Michio Kimura (Hamamatsu Medical University)
    Rebecca Kush (Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium)
    Mihoko Okada (Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare)
    Ronald Stolk (University of Groningen)
    Hiroshi Tanaka (Tokyo Medical and Dental University)
    Shih-Feng Tsai (National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)

    Related Information

    The Learning Health System & Tohoku Medical Information Highway (Feb. 23-25) [Events: 2015/01/09]

    Related Links

    The Learning Health System & Tohoku Medical Information Highway
    A Health Informatics Infrastructure for a New Era
    Tohoku Forum for Creativity

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