At the beginning of the year, Professor Dr. Dr. Felix Balzer took over a lifetime W3 professorship in Medical Data Science at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Previously, he was a junior professor at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF). The anesthesiologist is not only a physician, but also a computer scientist. His work will continue to be characterized by interdisciplinarity: At Charité, Balzer will mediate between the requirements in the medical field and information technology, among other things, in the function of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). In the future, he will head the Institute of Medical Informatics, coordinate the digitization process in patient care at Charité, and teach and research in the field of data medicine.
Balzer combines medicine and informatics
As a physician and computer scientist, Prof. Balzer knows both perspectives: The medical need as well as the technological possibilities and hurdles in implementing digital solutions. "Technological advances have significantly changed the understanding of medicine within just a few years," says the new director of the Institute of Medical Informatics. "Large amounts of data are being generated at unprecedented levels of granularity. These are now becoming available, opening up entirely new possibilities for characterizing patients and diseases in novel ways." However, this also raises new questions about how to protect patients' sensitive data.
Digitization processes in medicine require social acceptance
Research should lead to suitable IT solutions for medical problems and issues in order to better support doctors, nurses and patients. The declared goal is to provide new options for diagnostics and therapy, greater patient safety, improved treatment quality and less bureaucracy for medical staff. "There is a lot of untapped potential in the digitization of healthcare. The current pandemic has shown this very clearly. For digitization processes in medicine, however, not only technical hurdles must be overcome, but social acceptance must also be worked out and ethical questions answered," says Charité Dean Prof.Dr. Axel R. Pries, who is also a board member of the ECDF.
At the ECDF, Prof. Balzer represents the field of Digital Health, and since 2018 he has held an endowed professorship for E-Health and Shared Decision Allocation here and at Charité. In his interdisciplinary research, he regularly collaborated with scientists from other disciplines such as business informatics, sociology and design research. "We provide young professors with the platform and freedom to develop their research in innovative and creative ways. Prof. Balzer's excellent work has been noticed both nationally and internationally. I am all the more pleased that he will remain associated with Berlin and will continue to make significant contributions to the sustainable development of the field of e-health in the future," says Prof. Dr. Odej Kao, Chairman of the Board of the ECDF.
To the press release of the Charité click //here.
Detailed information on Prof. Dr. Dr. Felix Balzer's research can be found //here.