20 Life Sciences Report – Diagnostics will be the new research building Si-M – “Der simulierte Mensch”. The Si-M combines the scientific expertise of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Technische Universität Berlin (TU) for the long-term renunciation of animal testing in medical research. In return, the initiators Prof. Andreas Thiel and Prof. Roland Lauster received financial support from the federal government and the state of Berlin. Si-M thus sees itself as a fundamentally experimental project that does not adhere to tried and tested procedures, but breaks new ground. The simulation of human physiology on the basis of organoid technology and bioinformatic methods serves to establish a realistic model for the development of efficient forms of therapy. In addition to the close cooperation between the project partners, the public communication of theoretical and experimental progress plays an important role in the new research building. Therefore, communication with the public is given a fixed place in the imposing Theatron in the middle of the building, while the thematic orientation is reflected in the allocation of the different floors (“subcellular level”, “cell” as well as “tissue and organs”). The principle of exchange will be extended into scientific practice as the architectural design of the offices and laboratories guarantees all scientists open access to all resources and thus unites the two institutions Charité and TU Berlin as equal partners. But the simulation of the human being is not limited to preclinical drug-testing or evaluation of treatment options. Simulations are also becoming more and more interesting in the field of medical technology: e.g. in the calculation of radiation exposure in imaging techniques made by PhantomX. 4. Digital diagnostics: detecting disease with software Incorrect, unstructured and incomplete data – these are some of the unpleasant qualities historically associated with the field of digital diagnostics. However, a series of trends we are observing are currently impacting the success of digital diagnostics. To name just a few determinants, faster computing, an increasing consumer demand for prevention and better non-invasive consumer technology available like for example the singlechannel ECG included in wearables and devices. But what exactly means digital diagnostics? Digital diagnostics include data capture in almost any possible scenario inside and outside the hospital setting and the subsequent analysis of the data. Data can include a great variety of resources ranging from in-vivo and in-vitro data, to medical best practice, patient records and real-time monitoring. On a professional medical level, automated assessment of the data can provide clinicians with decision support. On a consumer level, digital diagnostics can empower patients to understand their own health status and possibility even next steps to take, such as consulting a physician. Most consumer-oriented digital diagnostic solutions use mobile phones and the built-in sensors. The Berlin-based company Ada Health has developed two apps: one for consumers and one for physicians. The consumer app helps citizens to report symptoms, matches PhantomX – Patient Phantoms for Radiology and Radiotherapy PhantomX is a world market-leading manufacturer of highly realistic phantoms for simulation of patient radiation exposure in medicine. The unique technology of PhantomX addresses an unmet need for patient simulation in X-ray and computed tomography imaging and radiation therapy. Realistic patient phantoms enable clinically relevant development, testing, optimization and quality assurance of diagnostic and therapeutic systems and software (including artificial intelligence based tools). They provide novel opportunities to accelerate developments, reduce clinical trials and improve patient radiation exposure and diagnostics. In radiation therapy, dose exposure of individual patient can be verified and optimized with patient specific phantoms before the patient gets treated. Target customers of PhantomX are clinics, patients, manufacturers, researchers, authorities. PhantomX is a spin-off from the Institute of Radiology and works closely with the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Life Sciences Report – Diagnostics 21 “We cannot accept the fact that people living with a rare disease often wait six years for the correct diagnosis. Artificial intelligence gives us the opportunity to change this and make a fundamental difference to the lives of millions of people worldwide.” © Ada Health Dr. Martin Hirsch Ada Health GmbH, Co-founder & Chief Scientific Advisor them with symptoms of patients of similar age and gender, and reports the statistical likelihood that the patient has a certain condition. Particularly in the field of rare diseases, Ada’s pioneering artificial intelligence supports doctors in their clinical decision-making for timely and accurate detection. The startups Merantix Healthcare and mediaire are two examples of how artificial intelligence applied on medical images can provide accurate and fast diagnostics. But radiology is not the only possible medical discipline that holds great potential for digital diagnostics. A range of research groups at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the BIH – Berlin Institute of Health develop solutions for digital diagnostics in pathology, neurology, oncology and many more. A prototype of a computer model has been developed by the team of Prof. Dr. Dietmar Frey from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Using this digital diagnostic procedure, they aim to create a first approach to stroke prognosis that is specifically tailored to each individual patient. In addition, the simulation software can assist in the determination of the optimal individual therapy for stroke prevention. On the basis of patient-related MRI or CT images of the brain as well as different blood pressure values, the software simulates how cerebral blood circulation behaves for a range of blood pressures. The system then quantifies the risk of stroke on a scale of one to five and compares different various options. Finally, the treating physician is provided with a personalised result report containing a range of blood circulation scenarios and therapy options, and which recommends the optimal treatment method for the stroke patient. 5. Medical Imaging: extending the function of traditional radiology systems and ultrasounds. The use of contrast agents can improve imaging, and nuclear medical methods, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), are increasingly gaining importance. Combining these with existing CT and MRI methods in a single device (MR-PET) is the technology of the future. More than 130 hospitals in Berlin and Brandenburg have a full range of equipment for large-scale diagnostic imaging at their disposal. With the Institute of Radiology, the University Outpatient Clinic for Radiology and the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, the Charité, is also home to one of the largest radiology centers in Europe. Furthermore, the researchers can count on the MRI Core Lab Berlin as a cardiovascular image analysis center for scientific research investigations in clinical trials with imaging endpoints. At the lab dedicated cardiac MRI scanners with 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla allow researchers to simultaneously acquire cMRIs using the MRI Core Lab function. A key feature of medical imaging in the German capital region is the close collaboration between scientists who conduct fundamental research in the fields of physics, biochemistry, bioinformatics and medicine, science, and industry. The Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.) has been implemented on the Campus Berlin-Buch as an integral part of the ECRC. B.U.F.F. is equipped with a 3.0 Tesla and a 7.0 Tesla whole-body human MR scanner and a 9.4 Tesla animal MR system. B.U.F.F. provides the infrastructure for projects of an interdisciplinary imaging consortium with scientists and clinicians from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP). In addition to determining vital signs, diagnostic imaging is an essential diagnostic element conducted using computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)