Medical research and health care highly depend on the use of information technology. There is a wide range of application systems (patient administration system, laboratory information system, communication server etc.) and heterogeneous data types (administrative data, clinical data, laboratory data, image data, genomic data etc.). Students and researchers do not often have the possibility to use productive application systems of e.g. hospitals or medical practices to gain practical experiences or examine new components and technologies. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop a dedicated laboratory environment for patient health care and clinical research. Essential application systems were identified and a suitable architecture was designed for this purpose. It is accompanied by a teaching plan that considers learning modules for bachelor and master degrees in medical informatics. We implemented the laboratory environment called MI-Lab with multiple free and open source software components. All components are installed on virtual machines and/or Docker containers. This modular architecture creates a flexible system which can be deployed in various scenarios. The preliminary evaluation results suggests that laboratory environments like MI-Lab work well in teaching practical aspects of medical informatics and are widely accepted by students.
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