Prof. Joachim Dudeck, the founder of the first HL7 Affiliate (HL7 Germany) and the first Affiliates Director on the HL7 Inc. Board, died last week. He was 77.
From 1992-95, Joachim chaired the Medical Informatics Chapter of the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology and received the Ed Hammond HL7 Volunteer of the Year award in 1998 as the first non-American.
Joachim convened the first International HL7 Affiliates Meeting (now known as IHIC) in August 2000 in his beloved Dresden. .
He was active in CEN TC 251 and later in ISO TC 215 and in 2003 was admitted as Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (AMIA).
Joachim also promoted the HL7 interoperability standards in Eastern European countries such as Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the countries of the former Yugoslavia, but also Turkey and Asia.
In 2004 Joachim was awarded the German equivalent of
the Order of Australia.
HL7 International Board Member 2000-2007
Imm. Past Chairman, HL7 Australia
I have the sad obligation to inform you that Joachim Dudeck, Founder, Chair of the Board for ten years and Honorary Fellow of HL7 Germany passed away on 31 March 2010.
Joachim Dudeck has been the doyen of the German Medical Informatics discipline, also representing our speciality at European and global level.
Born in 1932 in Breslau, he went at school in Leipzig and studied medicine there. Following his understanding of freedom and democracy, he left East Germany and finished his studies in Heidelberg.
There, he developed his favour to supporting and evaluating medical procedures and processes by formal methods. Always seeking for new approaches, he started to use computers for mathematically and statistically processing measurements and medical data. Becoming a professor for Medical Informatics at the University of Giessen in 1970, he first introduced the computer assisted ECG analysis in Germany. He was always focused on the improvement of patient care as well as to support the medical experts work by communications and cooperation.
He early started a close collaboration with persons and institution in the US, cooperated with Warner, Clayton and Gardner in Salt Lake City and introduced the HELP system in Germany. Another working domain of Joachim Dudeck was the field of medical documentation, classification and evaluation for process optimization, quality assurance as well as deriving epidemiological knowledge and health policy decision. He was pushing cancer documentation and established the network of Cancer Registries in Germany. Covering the entire spectrum of Health Informatics, he began his career in the field of medical documentation, medical statistics, ECG automation, knowledge representation and Artificial Intelligence, always being open to new ideas and revolutionary approaches. Early, he engaged in Health Informatics standardization at CEN TC 251, and later on at ISO TC 215.
Therefore, nobody was wondering that he launched the first HL7 Affiliate globally, pushed the use of XML in healthcare, and promoted SNOMED.
Joachim Dudeck was the first Affiliates Director at the HL7 Board. He received the Ed Hammond Volunteer of the Year award in 1998 as the first non-US person. Also beyond HL7, he cooperated with US institutions, planned and performed in collaboration with the US Commission on a Cancer Patient Care Evaluation Study on thyroid cancer.
From 1992-1995, he chaired the Medical Informatics Chapter of the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology. As the third German, in 2003 he became Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. His life achievements have been honoured with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2004.
His supportive engagement after the wall came down was not restricted to the Eastern part of Germany. He also promoted medical informatics and the use of communication and interoperability standards in other countries of the former Eastern Block such as Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the countries of the former Yugoslavia, but also Turkey and Asia.
Beside the important scientific engagement, Joachim was a great teacher and good friend. Having been my first scientific contact in West Germany after the German reunification, he was continuously supporting my personal integration in the new environment as excellent colleague and warm-hearted friend.
We will miss him and we offer our condolences to his wife and his family.
We will always treasure the memory of Joachim Dudeck.