The Competence Center for MEdical Data Warehousing and ANalysis (MEDAN) has been established as a four-year competence center in the Database and Information Systems (DIS) group in the Faculty of Computer Science at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. The center's mission is to conduct research and to create competences in the field of medical data warehousing and analysis, to contribute towards increasing the critical awareness in this area, and to transfer know-how and technology to the health care sector in South Tyrol in the near and longer terms.
To fulfill its mission, the competence center concentrates on the following three activities:
Activity 1 — Basic Research and Technology Development: Conduct basic research on selected topics in medical data warehousing and analysis with the aim to progress today's technologies towards advanced support for medical applications. The specific research problems that are investigated are driven by requirements from local health care institutions. The developed solutions are implemented in prototype systems and evaluated against real-world data and requirements. The main focus is on the following research topics:
Temporal Medical Data Analysis: Time is inherent in all kinds of medical data and plays a crucial role in the clinical interpretation. Current research topics include temporal aggregation, temporal pattern mining techniques, temporal similarity measures, and multi-dimensional modeling of time-varying data.
Visual Health Care Analytics: We will develop a visual analysis prototype that is based on scatter plots and density surfaces. It allows to investigate data at different granularities and explore heavily skewed data. Key properties of the tool will be the possibility to interactively select parameters and to dynamically update the visualizations in real time.
Activity 2 — Scientific Support for the DW Project Meran: The need for a systematic provision of basic data and information to various user groups (including decision makers, physicians, and administrators) is rapidly increasing. To address these needs the ICT center at the Hospital Meran initiated as a strategic project the development of a medical data warehouse. The competence center provides the methodological and scientific support for this project.
Activity 3 — Dissemination and Know-How Transfer: The third pillar of the competence center is the dissemination of the scientific results and to transfer know-how and technology to the local health care institutions, in particular to the Hospital Meran. This includes scientific publications, networking with international research institutions, and the organization of events to promote the know-how and technology transfer to the region.