Technology & IT Solutions

The Clinical Communication Platform (CCP) develops and implements technical interfaces and communication structures to connect distributed data.

In collaboration with our partners, the CCP’s IT experts develop harmonized infrastructure and streamlined processes for all DKTK and partner sites. Via this infrastructure, all connected sites can provide clinical and biosample-related data of cancer patients, as well as metadata of research projects and scientific data to the consortium. A federated concept of data management ensures compliance with data protection laws: each site independently manages its decentralized component, the so-called bridgehead, and thus retains complete data sovereignty. These software components enable technical and semantic interoperability between heterogeneous databases and provide relevant data for the consortium and its partners. Distributed for data protection reasons, the CCP also maintains central IT components in Frankfurt, Mainz, and Heidelberg. The “Data protection working group” of TMF e.V. has repeatedly approved the data protection policy for our IT infrastructure.

The CCP also develops various tools for researchers of the DKTK and its partners. These tools allow, for example, performing case number estimations or requesting patient data and biosamples within the network. In addition, the CCP provides extensive project support for DKTK-funded projects.

The CCP's IT experts develop and continuously update numerous software components to realize the federated infrastructure and the various CCP tools. All software components are available under an open source license allowing sustainable maintenance and enabling use in other projects, both technically and legally. Our IT solutions include: 

  • Tools for researchers:
    • Federated, network-wide search of patient data, and biosamples; display of cumulative case numbers
    • Cohort dashboard to monitor data and sample collection within research projects and cohorts
  • Data privacy and data security:
    • Mainzelliste: web-based pseudonymization service for record linkage and management of personally identifying data
    • Project pseudonymization: project-specific pseudonymization and record linkage
    • Authentication service: single sign-on software for access management for various applications
    • Symmetric and asymmetric encryption for secure information exchange
  • Data integration:
    • Bridgehead: local data hub for secure exchange of oncology data
    • Metadata repository: supporting interoperability and cross-site data harmonization processes
    • ADT2FHIR: transformation from ADT/GEKID data to FHIR
    • FHIR server: storage and management of FHIR resources according to the current FHIR specification
    • Samply.Beam: secure and fast communication between components and applications, even across site boundaries and firewalls
    • Oncology dataset and implementation in HL7 FHIR

The IT tasks of the CCP are coordinated by Prof. Dr. Martin Lablans (