Since January 2021, the Robert Koch Institute in Wildau has been building the ZKI-PH, the first center of its kind to investigate the use of artificial intelligence in public health research. The aim is to identify new methods that will strengthen the transdisciplinary field of public health and to set new directions both within Germany and abroad. The use of AI-based technologies will make it possible to use large and complex data sources, for example, to analyze epidemics more comprehensively and to further develop early warning systems. The ZKI-PH also aims to improve the calculation of disease burdens and the visualization of complex relationships.
The establishment of the center is financed with funds from new federal legislation calling for investments in new infrastructure in coal-producing regions (InvKG). The new RKI location in Wildau will contribute to the economic, ecological, and social transformation of the region. The federal grants are being used to build the center and to fill 101 positions. The RKI has been discussing opportunities for collaboration with neighboring Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau for some time. The expertise available there in the fields of applied biosciences and computer science will be an ideal complement to the orientation of the ZKI-PH.
The new location will be ready for occupancy within the next few months and a search for the center's manager is currently underway. Linking the public health expertise and data resources available at the RKI with previously untapped data sources using AI-supported methods shows great potential. With an international, innovative, and interdisciplinary orientation, the ZKI-PH will make an important contribution to protecting the health of the population. The foundations for this work have now literally been laid.
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