Biomedical Research Informatics Core (BRIC)
The Biomedical Research Informatics Core (BRIC) delivers on the data needs of investigators in a scalable & affordable way by addressing the following areas.
The BRIC team will create a customized data management plan and provide supporting material for the Human Subjects Protection and Resource/Facilities sections of your proposal. The data management plan will describe how the data sources and informatics resources of your study will be handled and will include detail; e.g., what data will be collected and generated during your research, your plan for data quality, measures for data storage and backup, management of access to your data, and how data may be shared. A robust and comprehensive data management plan serves to strengthen your research proposal and facilitate timely achievement of study milestones. Pre-award planning begins with a discussion centered on Discovery Questions, which help define how data flows through your study protocol.
Databases are constructed to organize and integrate information from multiple data sources (e.g., questionnaire survey data, biologic laboratory data, vital statistics, and others). We offer a variety of tools for building databases using Clinical Research Management Systems.
BRIC data managers will build a custom database for your study, while providing valuable expertise in the use of best practice parameters for defining variables. They will provide thorough testing of the electronic versions of your study instruments to ensure a smooth launch to data collection; ongoing surveillance of data quality; and periodic reporting to monitor the progress of study deliverables. Data management also includes training database users, managing access to data, importing data from other sources, and data cleaning.
Data Storage and Security
BRIC partners with facilities on campus to provide the best in data storage and security. Live data are stored on redundant drives, and backed up on encrypted tapes daily, which are then rotated weekly to an off-site location and archived monthly. Redundant power sources protect against power supply interruptions. Servers are house in a HIPAA-class security facility with climate control and fire suppression. Data housed within the clinical research management systems at BRIC are accompanied by an automatically generated audit log, which records user, time/date and specific changes made by all users. In addition, all BRIC personnel are trained in human subject confidentiality and human health research requirements.
Custom Application Development
Innovative studies often require unique informatics solutions. BRIC can tailor existing software or create novel software to fit the exact needs of your study. If your study demands features beyond what is common, BRIC will build a solution to fit your requirements. Some past examples include automated gift-card code distribution, longitudinal anonymous surveys, study instruments customized to individual study participants, and off-line electronic data capture using mobile devices in remote locations lacking internet connectivity.
For studies that anticipate ongoing collaboration to address evolving technical requirements and informatics solutions, BRIC senior staff are available to participate as a co-investigator for your study. This level of involvement impacts the design, execution, and outcome of the study. Some past examples include coordinating data exchange with multi-study data repositories (e.g., National Database for Autism Research, GenBank); designing, delivering, and installing locally-housed research management systems in developing countries; and customizing study protocols to better facilitate achievement of study aims.