RTF IX: Ethics, Epistemology, Communication and Economics

Coordinators: C. Borck (UzL), C. Bozzaro (CAU)

RTF IX is a collaboration of researchers from ethics, philosophy, interface design, e-health and economics. They want to contribute to the success of new therapeutic ideas, not only in research but also in daily practice. To achieve that, patients’ preferences, experiences and feedback are taken into account, specific communication challenges in scientific collaborations across specialized research fields are identified and addressed, and novel economic methods of evaluating the benefits and costs of precision medicine are developed.

What does this research area’s work build on?

Precision medicine poses major interdisciplinary challenges for research. Concepts, methods and data from very different areas must be combined - for example from genetics, physiology and cell biology, from clinical studies, from empirical studies on environmental factors, and from computer simulations. To combine the information for the benefit of research collaboration and of patients in healthcare practice, it must be translated between the different areas and parties involved. In doing so, the interfaces between medical practitioners and patients, practitioners and researchers as well as practitioners and computers are taken into account.

A major challenge for economics research is that precision medicine is faced with long-established methods of economic evaluation within health systems that were developed for conventional forms of medicine; these established methods tend to underestimate the true value of precision medicine to individual patients and to society at large. 

What are the main research objectives?

An important objective is the development of patient-oriented evaluation criteria for precision medicine – with a special focus on factors that improve the quality of life among patients suffering from incurable chronic disease. How can these factors be identified and measured, in ways that equip researchers and medical practitioners with meaningful criteria for the evaluation of alternative treatment strategies?

In the integration of relevant information from all research contributing to precision medicine, there is a need for rigorous scientific-philosophical analyses of the similarities and differences between the various fields of knowledge that must be aligned. To this end, an "epistemology clinic" is to be established, serving the researchers involved as a specialist scientific-philosophical advisor-.

Smartphone apps and web interfaces are developed to report research directly to medical practitioners and patients. These tools are to enable communication in both directions. Patient surveys can thus be carried out quickly and digitally, for example when collecting information about patients’ quality of life.

In its economics research stream, RTF IX will develop novel evaluation methods that identify and quantify the true value of precision medicine for individual patients and society at large, thus helping to obtain acceptance for precision medicine among the decision makers in healthcare and the wider political governance system.

What makes this research area special?

RTF IX has a unique interdisciplinary approach that can benefit the entire cluster.  Using quantitative and qualitative methods, research is done in close contact and collaboration with patients and other cluster members. Researchers in RTF IX believe that contributions from ethics, philosophy and economics are vital to maximize the benefits from basic research in the natural sciences and from clinical research in the development of precision medicine.

 

What does the research area contribute to precision medicine in chronic inflammation?

Precision medicine has greater prospects to be successful if appropriately designed for patients and for society at the outset, taking into account user and patient experiences and expectations as well as economic evaluations that are based on appropriate methods for precision medicine. The research of RTF IX is designed to help achieve this ambitious agenda.

 

Cooperation with other research areas in the cluster

Based on its ambition to enable and facilitate interdisciplinary communication, RTF IX seeks to collaborate with all areas of the cluster and to provide interfaces for communication across cluster units.

 

Members

Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Bahmer

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Internal Medicine I

Natalie Baier

Associated member

Kiel Institute for the World Economy
The Global Health Economy

Prof. Dr. med. Björn Bergh

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Medical Informatics and Statistics
Medical Informatics

Kathrin Boersch

Associated member

Kiel University
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
RG Prof. Franke

Prof. Dr. Cornelius Borck

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Medical History and Science Research

Prof. Dr. Claudia Bozzaro

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Experimental Medicine
Biomedical Ethics

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Astrid Dempfle

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Medical Informatics and Statistics

Dr. rer. medic. Anke Erdmann

Associated member

Kiel University
Institute of Experimental Medicine
Biomedical Ethics

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andre Franke

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
Genetics & Bioinformatics

Prof. Dr. med. Julian Großkreutz

Full member

UKSH Campus Lübeck
Department of Neurology

Dr. med. Rainer Günther

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Internal Medicine I

Dr. rer. nat. Matthias Hübenthal

Associated member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology
AG Prof. Weidinger

Prof. Dr. iur. Sebastian Graf von Kielmansegg

Full member

Kiel University
Institute for Public Law of the Economy

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Krawczak

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Medical Informatics and Statistics

Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Lieb

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Epidemiology

Dr. Robert Meunier

Associated member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Medical History and Science Research
AG Prof. Borck

Prof. Dr. Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Medical History and Science Research

Prof. Detlef Rhein

Full member

Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design
Industry Design / Medical Design

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schmidt

Full member

Kiel Institute for the World Economy
Global Cooperation and Social Cohesion

Prof. Dr. Andra Schromm

Full member

Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Lung Center
Immunobiophysics
Priority Research Area Infections

Prof. Dr. Christina Schües

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Medical History and Science Research

Dr. Michael Stolpe

Full member

Kiel Institute for the World Economy
The Global Health Economy

Prof. Dr. Stephan Weidinger

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Westermann

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Anatomy