Joining forces for an effective early warning system for waves of infection

21.02.2024 -  

Detecting waves of infection at an early stage: With this aim in mind, the AKTIN emergency department register developed in Magdeburg and Aachen provides the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) with anonymized and standardized routine data from 48 emergency departments on a daily basis. Since the end of January, this data has been published on a daily basis as part of the RKI's emergency department surveillance dashboard. Information on infection patterns, selected infectious diseases and their symptoms are presented in comprehensive analyses. This enables health threats to be identified at an early stage, resources to be used more efficiently and precise measures to be planned.

Prof. Dr. med. Felix Walcher, medical-scientific director of the AKTIN registry and director of the University Clinic for Trauma Surgery in Magdeburg, emphasizes the importance of the continuous presentation of current infection data: "The daily updated presentation of infection data from emergency rooms is crucial for the effective monitoring and control of infectious diseases.Health authorities, researchers and the public benefit from this in order to be able to react to outbreaks at an early stage and take preventative measures."

Zentrale Notaufnahme der Universitätsmedizin in Magdeburg

Photo: Central Emergency Department of the University Medical Center in Magdeburg.Photo: Christian Morawe/UMMD

The data is made available via the AKTIN infrastructure, which was developed at the Institute of Medical Informatics at RWTH Aachen University under the direction of Prof. Dr. Rainer Röhrig, MD, and is being continuously developed there.Currently, 48 emergency departments from all care levels are connected to this infrastructure and provide the data for the RKI's emergency department surveillance dashboard via the AKTIN emergency department register. This data contains information on the frequency of various infectious diseases such as COVID-19, acute respiratory diseases and gastrointestinal infections. Cases are shown that are presented to the participating emergency departments due to or accompanying selected infectious diseases. A distinction is made between central emergency departments and pediatric emergency departments for a targeted analysis.

The collaboration between the RKI and AKTIN has existed since 2013 and was intensified as part of the close cooperation in the new nationwide University Medicine Network (NUM) founded in 2020. All 36 university hospitals in Germany are pooling their findings from patient care, pandemic and crisis management as well as research for a joint approach in the fight against the pandemic and beyond.The aim is to create sustainable structures for long-term cooperation. AKTIN is an integral part of the NUM infrastructure and, with its unique data infrastructure, is making a significant contribution to being able to respond to future crisis situations faster, more effectively and better prepared.

On this basis and in order to continuously improve the informative value of the data, it is planned to expand the surveillance to other infection syndromes in the future and to integrate additional variables and data sources, such as the emergency services, for the comprehensive analysis of emergency admission data.

Further information is available on the RKI dashboard and on the RKI website.You can find more information about the AKTIN project at or on LinkedIn: AKTIN e.V.

Network of University Medicine (NUM)

For the first time, all 36 German university hospitals are carrying out major interdisciplinary research projects together in the NUM. The network was launched in 2020 to coordinate COVID-19 research at all university hospitals. In the future, the NUM will research other diseases and involve as many partners from medical science, healthcare and society as possible. NUM is particularly concerned with clinical research, the results of which directly support patient care. One focus is on the joint collection and use of complex medical research data. To this end, the network has established research infrastructures with which it helps to better prepare the German healthcare system for future pandemics and crises. The NUM is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and coordinated by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Further information:


Prof. Dr. med. Felix Walcher, Scientific Director (Medicine) AKTIN Emergency Admission Register, Director of the University Clinic for Trauma Surgery Magdeburg, Tel.: 0391-67-15575,

Prof. Dr. Rainer Röhrig, AKTIN emergency admission register, Director of the Institute for Medical Informatics at RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Tel: 0241-80-88791,

Last Modification: 21.02.2024 - Contact Person:

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