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A project by the Medical University, the University Clinical Hospital and the University of Economics has won the Medical Research Agency's competition for the creation and development of Regional Digital Medicine Centers.

- This is the first step toward the widespread implementation of digital medicine. We focus on interdisciplinarity and, in creating this project, we built an interdisciplinary team that allowed us to create RCMCs," explains Dr. Agnieszka Matera-Witkiewicz, project coordinator.

They will study rare and cardiovascular diseases

The specialists plan to focus on two clinical areas: rare diseases, which affect smaller patient populations, and fairly common cardiovascular diseases, especially in patients with heart failure.

- The source of data can be both Wroclaw centers and centers from the entire region, assures Dr. Agnieszka Matera-Witkiewicz.

Data collection will include:

  • the computer system of the University Clinical Research Support Center (UCWBK);
  • the hospital system from the University Clinical Hospital (USK), which cooperates with UMed;
  • UMed's Biobank information system;
  • other sources, e.g., regional networks for scientific cooperation in the area of cardiology, national networks for rare diseases, including inborn metabolic diseases and type I diabetes, and source data from medical equipment used at USK and/or UCWBK.

What is the purpose of collecting data on rare diseases

When it comes to rare diseases, the problems are diagnostic difficulties, lack of medical coordination, low incidence of individual rare diseases in the population, and a large amount of genotype-clinical data covering the specifics of rare diseases.

We therefore plan to identify diagnostic areas that can be improved through the use of innovative analytical tools that combine a variety of biological, clinical and environmental data, and algorithms that will identify important correlations.

Dr. Matera-Witkiewicz, project coordinator

What might these correlations be?

The project coordinator points to genomic-environmental, diagnostic-social and diagnostic-economic. And she adds that the goal of the Regional Centers for Digital Medicine is to realistically improve the diagnostic process, which in turn will influence the determination of appropriate therapy and improve the quality of life of patients.

Why collect data on cardiovascular disease?

In modern cardiology - a field that affects increasingly large populations - the challenge is already to personalize therapy effectively and as precisely as possible. This can be achieved by selecting subgroups of patients with similar clinical profiles and predicting based on statistical data (predilection) in terms of hospitalizations and deaths.

This approach will make it possible to identify patients who require the most urgent interventions.

- In the cardiology area, we plan to test and implement clustering, prediction and classification algorithms. Both models will be supported by the areas of pathomorphology, radiology and omics grade biobanking, including sequencing and omics analysis, both as tools that will also be generators of data and information for the RCMC, and as areas that can also be improved, for example by accelerating the analysis of imaging data, Dr. Matera-Witkiewicz adds.

The RCMC project will bring together information from laboratory, pathomorphology, radiology, and hospital systems in one place.

With this data and the scientific papers produced, we will be able to improve the efficiency of patient treatment, as well as influence the educational process of medical personnel.

Marcin Drozd, director of the University Clinical Hospital in Wroclaw

He adds: - In addition, we plan to develop predictive algorithms that will be used to predict the risk of complications or urgent events, such as hospitalizations or patient death. All this while preserving the confidentiality of personal data, Marcin Drozd adds.

Development of digital medicine

The creation of the RCMC will contribute to the development of digital medicine IT solutions that enable the analysis of medical data, and tools that facilitate the work of doctors. This will translate into an improvement in the effectiveness of patient treatment and access to innovative therapies, which will ultimately help meet the health needs of the population and eliminate the barriers currently present in the medical care system.

The centers are expected to bring Poland to the world leaders in digital medicine. They are also to act as a catalyst for innovation in healthcare, redefining medical research and patient care.

Project: Digital Medicine: an innovative approach to diagnosis and therapy based on science - RCMC "DISRUPTOR" at UMed

Project Coordinator:

  • Dr. Agnieszka Matera-Witkiewicz

Interdisciplinary team:

  • Support and area of cardiology and cooperation in the region - Robert Zymlinski, MD.
  • Al, data and algorithms - Dr. Agnieszka Siennicka and Dr. Maciej Pondel
  • IT area, USK system solutions - Director Marcin Drozd, Damian Fedorczuk
  • IT area, system solutions UMed- Wojciech Mech and Krzysztof Hebzda
  • Biobanking/sequencing- Drs. Agnieszka Matera-Witkiewicz and Magdalena Krupińska
  • Pathomorphology area- Piotr Donizy, PhD
  • The area of rare diseases and the context of genetic data as a potential for development on the basis of RCMC - Prof. Robert Smigiel, PhD
  • Impact of the project's solutions on public health in the context of development and innovation and economic effects - Dr. Lukasz Rypicz
  • Support from UCWBK - Dorota Stefanicka-Wojtas and Katarzyna Arczynska