Social Cohesion and Medical Imaging

Follow us via Twitter hashtag: #FairImaging

Berlin University Alliance Logo

Starting Point

Social cohesion is a worldwide grand challenge (OECD Perspectives on Global Development 2012). Growing inequality is widely considered to pose major threats to cohesion and integration. Health is consistently found to be crucial for life satisfaction (OECD Better Life Index) and, according to the Council of Europe, is one of the eight areas of life that determine social cohesion (Concerted development of social cohesion indicators). The Berlin University Alliance application lists health as one of eleven social cohesion issues (p. 65).

Funded by a grant from the Berlin University Alliance as part of the German Excellence Strategy of Federal Government and the States.

Research Need

While the association of socioeconomic status (SES) with mortality and social disparities in health outcomes are well documented (Chetty R et al. JAMA 2016, Siegrist J, Staudinger UM (eds.), Gesundheitliche Ungleichheit im Lebensverlauf, Leopoldina Forum, 2, 2019), there is a need to explore the association of SES with the quality of medical care and effects on social (dis)integration processes. In particular, very little is known about the association between SES and the quality, timelines and clinical outcomes of diagnostic medical imaging, despite its decisive role in the care processes (Glover M et al. JACR 2017, Schrager JD et al. JACR 2019). Growing heterogeneity of our multicultural society raises new challenges and requires a better understanding of the interactions with medical care (Sohn & Timmermans Socius 2017, McKay & Timmermans JHSB 2017).

Proposal Goals

This proposal has two goals: 1) To connect a transdisciplinary team of researchers from the Berlin universities and non-university institutions in a concrete project analyzing social inequalities in medical imaging and the ensuing diagnosis and treatment decisions. 2) To identify promising avenues for further long-term trans-institutional and trans-disciplinary cooperation within the framework of the Berlin University Alliance.


  1. Professor Nina Baur, Twitter: @NinaBaur 
  2. Professor Marc Dewey, Twitter: @ProfDewey
  3. Professor Martin Gersch, Twitter: @gersch_martin
  4. Professor Johannes Giesecke
  5. Priv. Doz. Ulrike Grittner
  6. Dr. Jannis Hergesell
  7. Professor Nina Knoll
  8. Professor Ulf Leser
  9. Professor Timo Schmid
  10. Professor Gertraud Stadler (Turu)
  11. Professor Fabian Prasser
  12. Priv. Doz. Nina Rieckmann
  13. Dr. Verena Vogt, Twitter: @VogtVerena
  14. Professor Holger Amthauer

Participants from University research institutions outside of Berlin

  1. Assistant Professor Oleg Pianykh

Participants from non-university research institutions

  1. Professor Hans-Christian Hege
  2. Dr. Jan-Paul Heisig, Twitter: @jpheisig
  3. Priv.-Doz.,Dr. Thomas Lampert
  4. Professor Thomas Zahn

Patient Advisor

  1. Birgit Bauer, Twitter: @birgitpower

Current participants from outside academia

  1. Dr. rer. medic h.c. Helmut Hildebrandt and Dr. Oliver Gröne (PhD MSc)
  2. Dr. Leila Akremi 
  3. Dr. med. Kerstin Westphalen

Further scientific collbarators

  1. Dr. Oliver Gröne
  2. Professor Hans-Joachim Wagner
  3. Professor Sven Mutze
  4. Marie Helene Mandrela
  5. Dipl.-Inf. Danilo Schmidt
  6. Dr. Peter Brunecker
  7. Michael Mallach
  8. Martin Peuker
  9. Dr. Melanie Estrella
  10. Maria Bosserdt
  11. Hans Tepe
  12. Rafael Poschmann
  13. M. Sc. Sepehr Zargaran
  14. Dr. Christian Wald
  15. Stefan Kalinowski
  16. Dr. Eleftheria Alevronta, Twitter: @ealevronta
  17. Mahmoud Mohamed
  18. Felix Skarke
  19. Dr. phil Niels Michalski, Twitter: @NielsMichalski
  20. Martina Traub


Project Updates:

Announcement: Next Fair Imaging Meeting on Fr. 06.03.2020

Patient begins CT examination
Patient begins CT examination

We are looking forward to our next meeting on fair imaging with the whole group next Friday. We will announce the results here soon.

03.03.2020 – New blog entry on patients perspective & fair imaging

Be sure to read the wonderful blogentry by @BirgitPower on the patients perspective & fair imaging, it gives a great insight on why our project is so important:


Task Force 6 of #FairImaging led by @VogtVerena has agreed to suggest using ICD chapters of admittance diagnoses as a confounder for the statistical analysis.

Task Force 7 of #FairImaging led by Ulrike Grittner has met to develop standard procedures for the planned statistical analysis.

Task Force 10 of #FairImaging led by Eleftheria Alevronta has started proposing categorizations of effective radiation doses for specific medical imaging.


#FairImaging presentation during Berlin University Alliance Workshop

January 27, 2020

The #FairImaging project was presented during the Berlin University Alliance Workshop by Prof. Marc Dewey (@ProfDewey) today. The picture is taken from the fish bowl of the workshop with Naika Foroutan (@naikaforoutan) from Humboldt Universität Berlin, Stephanie Schmidt from ZDF, Thomas Risse from Freie Universität Berlin, Martina Löw from Technische Universität Berlin and Rainer Haag from Freie Universität Berlin.

Fair Imaging presentation on Berlin University Alliance Workshop

First meeting of #FairImaging consortium.

January 8. & 9., 2020
Social Cohesion and Medical Imaging Meeting
The kick off meeting for the work on Social Cohesion and Medical Imaging within the “Berlin University Alliance” took place on 8. & 9. of January in the “Window of Science” in the CCO at the Charité Campus Mitte. We are looking forward to the results of this promising cooperative project!

Social Cohesion and Medical Imaging1
First meeting of the group
Social Cohesion and Medical Imaging2
Prof. Oleg Pianykh


#FairImaging on Twitter:

#FairImaging project of @BerlinUAlliance started with a talk by Oleg Pianykh @ChariteBerlin with partners from @FU_Berlin @HumboldtUni @TUBerlin. @VogtVerena, @Birgitpower, @NinaBaur, @gersch_martin, @jpheisig, @NielsMichalski et al. Let’s reach for the stars!