MIE2021 Conference Proceedings and Materials

The MIE2021 Conference proceedings are published by IOS Press as an open access ebook in the series “Studies in Health Technology and Informatics”.

The proceedings are available online.


Other Materials and Publications

The 31st Medical Informatics Europe Conference (MIE) was organized by the European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) is an online conference on 29-31 May 2021. During the conference, several awards were given to MI/HI students and young professionals, such as Best Paper Award, Best Student Award, “Rolf Hansen” Best Paper Reward.

In the following sections, awarded students and young professionals are introduced by focusing on their MI/HI careers, recent research activities that are presented through awarded paper/poster, as well as key messages to future generations and yEFMI membership.



Authors: Jenny STRITZEL, Dominik WOLFF, Klaus-Hendrik WOLF, Tobias WELLER, Thomas LENARZ, Andreas BÜCHNER, Michael MARSCHOLLEK

Title: Image Processing of Conventional Computer Tomography Images for Segmentation of the Human Cochlea.

Jenny Stritzel, Ph.D. student

Research Associate at the Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics of TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School, Germany

Short introduction about Jenny’s career in medical and health informatics:

Jenny Stritzel is a Ph.D. student at Hannover Medical School. Her education started at Computational Life Science in Lübeck, where after graduation she also completed her master’s degree with a specialization in image and signal processing.

After graduation, she was interested in jobs in medical informatics and especially in medical image and signal processing. Therefore, she moved to Hannover in 2013 and began her career at Hannover Centre for Optical Technologies of Leibniz University Hannover. Her first project ‚Determination of melanoma thickness via optoacoustic and optical coherence tomography ‘ can be considered with key impacts on her future career since she is still writing her Ph.D. thesis on this topic.

Jenny is also experienced with working in the industry since she worked on the implementation of software for a device for the automatic classification of EEGs recorded during anesthesia or intensive care.

As being a member of the Peter L. Reichertz Institute of Medical Informatics of TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School since March 2020, she is working on the project ‚Understanding Cochlear Implant Outcome Variability using Big Data and Machine Learning Approaches ‘.

Presentation of awarded paper. Did the authors encounter obstacles and challenges during the research?

The paper is focused on describing how it is possible to segment the human cochlea which is a very small structure in the human skull when you have conventional CT images which were recorded in the past. Different methods are being used in the literature. If you are looking for methods relevant to cochlea segmentation in CTs or the examination of cochlea features, you will mostly find that they have used micro CTs for ex vivo imaging or at least ultra-high-resolution CTs for in vivo imaging.

On the other side, the key challenge facing the research is in the big database with data obtained retrospectively. Mostly the field of view is the whole skull, and the resolution is not ideal. So, the challenge is to process the data to such an extent that segmentation of the cochlea is possible. Therefore, the authors rotated the data in a way you can identify the typical snail shape structure of the cochlea which is followed by an adapted image processing for an easier segmentation. The presented approach is just an essential step in reaching the overall goal of the project: identification of features in the human cochlea, which lead to better or worse hearing results after a cochlea implant operation.

yEFMI is EFMI WG devoted to young professionals. What do you expect from yEFMI membership?

Jenny: From yEFMI membership I expect an interesting exchange about existing projects in medical informatics and further project ideas as well as networking, perhaps for future collaborations.

Why do you suggest MI/HI as a profession for future generations?

Jenny: Medical and health informatics are very future-oriented and the interface between medicine and IT. In the future, I would like to see more extensive data provision and exchange. This is especially relevant for a research project in which we usually spend half of the time is spent acquiring data or generating it yourself, all accompanied by regulatory issues which must be taken into consideration. This could be a point for joint actions within yEFMI that we can work on.

As a suggestion for new generations in the field, I would like to recommend everyone to always focus on the user of the application; in medical informatics, we don’t need “solutions that only work for spherical chickens in a vacuum”.

A full interview with Jenny Stritzel is available on the yEFMI LinkedIn page


Authors: Cyril R. ZGRAGGEN, Sebastian B. KUNZ, Kerstin DENECKE

Title: Crowdsourcing for Creating a Dataset for Training a Medication Chatbot

Cyril R. ZGRAGGEN, MSc student

Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern, Switzerland

Sebastian B. KUNZ, MSc student

Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern, Switzerland

Kerstin DENECKE, Professor

Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern, Switzerland


Short introduction about students’ careers in medical and health informatics:

Cyril Zgraggen and Sebastian Kunz are both medical informatics students at the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) in Switzerland. They started their studies at the same time in 2017 and are expected to graduate in summer 2022. Both complete their studies in a part-time format and work in parallel in different employment sectors.

Before Cyril started studying and during the first two years, he worked as a chef in gastronomy and was an employee in quality management at a food producer. It was clear to him from the beginning, that he wanted a new professional challenge in the healthcare sector. So that what they learn in theory at the BFH can also be used in practice in daily business life. Since 2019, Cyril has been working alongside the studies as a research assistant at the Federal Office of Public Health in the department for Digital Transformation. Through this work, he can use a lot of what he has learned during their studies. In addition, the corona pandemic has shown him once more, that we still have a lot to do for the digital transformation in healthcare.

Originally Sebastian is a nursing professional and is currently working in this field. He believes that the use of informatics in healthcare is having, or should have, a greater impact than just replacing paper-based documentation. To be able to participate in this development of medical informatics, he has chosen to start his study at the BFH. His personal goal is to use the technologies of Healthcare Systems to simplify the daily work of healthcare workers as well as patients and finally increase patient safety sustainability.

Students’ mentor is Professor Kerstin DENECKE, co-leader of the Centre Health Technologies at Bern University of Applied Sciences. Her professional career started in a software company after completed studies in computer science and specializing in medical informatics. The company supported her interests in research and after her Ph.D. studies at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, she moved to the academic sector with a key focus on text mining and processing, medical ontologies, and intelligent assistance in healthcare. She is also chair of IMIA Working Group Participatory Health and Social Media.

Presentation of awarded poster. Did the authors encounter obstacles and challenges during the research?

The work that won the Best Poster Award was originally a student project that was supervised by Prof. Denecke. The objective of this work was to collect experiences on how datasets for training a chatbot can be created through crowdsourcing. Finally a medication chatbot – which should be able to answer patients’ questions about their medication – was defined as a use case. The main interest for the work was in how patients would formulate their questions for the chatbot.

The students created an entity-intent model and based on that, they were defined 90 different tasks for the crowd worker. In a period of 7 days, they received over 4’000 answers from 560 crowdworker.  They received a broad variety of possible user needs and linguistic variants. The formulated sentences also contain spelling errors, which could help to make our chatbot more robust against linguistic variations, and errors. we learned that it is important to formulate simple tasks in a very clear manner and to limit the difficulty of a task. In conclusion, this work has shown that it is important to formulate simple tasks in a very clear manner for the crowdworker to obtain as high a rate of acceptable.

yEFMI is EFMI WG devoted to young professionals. What do you expect from yEFMI membership?

From the young EFMI association, Cyril and Sebastian hope for an exchange with other students, professionals, and researchers from the medical informatics field. To have access to a platform where networking can take place, knowledge can be exchanged and problems can be resolved together. It is important to agree on a common messaging standard for data exchange so that digital solutions also work across borders.

Cyril is convinced that medical informatics can improve patient safety, especially concerning avoiding preventable adverse events. The potential in the field of medical informatics is enormous and can – with consideration of the analog processes – bring about many things. Sebastian specifies that the existing processes can be simplified. But the development does not stop here. Through the continuous development of the existing infrastructure as well as the integration of new technologies, new use cases can arise in the future to solve problems that are hardly considered today or are triggered by existing processes.

Professor Kerstin DENECKE: According to my experience, one of the most important elements which should be implemented within yEFMI which will be very important for our students is to collaborate already during the studies with industry or with healthcare professionals. The essential thing is: never forget to cooperate with industry and/or with healthcare professionals when having ideas and developing things in medical informatics; integration of health professionals and patients is crucial for successful development. yEFMI can play a very important role in building up the network, thus benefiting students either for running the projects, providing support during specialized studies, and further finding the job. Last, but not having the least important is providing opportunities for students for publishing at conferences, participation, and conferences, meetings in creating contacts with different kinds of researchers, but also with industry.

A full interview with Cyril R. ZGRAGGEN, Sebastian B. KUNZ, and Professor Kerstin DENECKE is available at yEFMI LinkedIn page: