The Biomedical Data & Bioethics Group engages in the development of systems to manage and analyze a wide spectrum of data, from basic biomedical research to digital applications for healthcare and clinical research. The group focuses on biomedical data as a starting resource for basic and applied research, through the transformation and processing of biomedical data to generate new knowledge and to develop innovative tools that enable effective re-utilization of data and information. Working with sensitive personal data, such as genetic data, in conjunction with machine learning (ML) or artificial intelligence (AI) challenges the boundaries of existing ethical frameworks. Consequently, the group is actively developing ethical tools and mechanisms to deal with these challenges, such that research and development can continue to advance.
The group is distributed between Fraunhofer IBMT locations in Sulzbach/Saar and Berlin. The Berlin team focuses on the area of digital stem cell technologies, in particular the management and analysis of datasets related to pluripotent stem cells and their pre-clinical and clinical applications. The Sulzbach team specializes in digital disease management systems for patients and intelligent AI-based decision support software for physicians in the context of telemedical healthcare.
Presently, the group works on five EU-funded projects, including the global human pluripotent stem cell registry (hPSCreg; www.hpscreg.eu), which serves as the data entry and storage platform for the European Bank for induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC; www.ebisc.org). Following its inception in 2007, hPSCreg has been funded by the EU and has been an essential infrastructure project since the Horizon 2020 funding period.