Data collection for medical applications

June 10, 2015

Feature with Prof Norbert Graf in Deutschlandfunk

Prof Norbert Graf, coordinator of p-medicine and member of the VPH Insitute, took part in an feature on data collection for medical applications aired by Deutschlandfunk, a German informative radio channel, in May 2015.

Although they are still seen as some sort of lifestyle gadget, e.g. smartphone apps controlling the blood sugar level or companies offering services to analyse the users metabolism, there influence on medicine can no longer be neglected. The technological advances are also implemented in a rising number of medical devices used by practitioner’s in their daily life.

The VPH Institute is working on a computer model that will be able to simulate the physical, mechanical and bio-chemical processes in the human body. This is particularly useful in the case of cancer. Together with mathematicians, molecular biologist and bio-informaticians, Norbert Graf is working on a model of the Wilms tumour. With the help of this model, he is able to see the development of the tumour, the influences of medication and chemotherapy. Together with specific data of the patient, this model is meant to help the doctor take decisions on further treatment of the patient.

While the computer model developed by the VPH Institute is certainly a big advance in medical treatment, the use of smartphone apps still raises a lot of concerns and questions. For the time being, their use is totally at one’s own discretion but what if health services require their customers to use such apps and communicate the results in the future?

The script is now available online (in German).