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I am a clinician with a passion for informatics. This blog is about my eHealth journey exploring interoperability in Electronic Medical Records (EMR/EHR), Patient Safety, Pharmacovigilance, Data Analytics, Clinical Research and Bioinformatics in a clinical context. Comparing Canadian, Indian and Middle Eastern healthcare systems and services. Join our open facebook group here:

A data-driven concept schema for defining clinical research data needs

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Medical Informatics, Volume 91
Author(s): Gregory W. Hruby, Julia Hoxha, Praveen Chandar Ravichandran, Eneida A. Mendonça, David A Hanauer, Chunhua Weng
ObjectivesThe Patient, Intervention, Control/Comparison, and Outcome (PICO) framework is an effective technique for framing a clinical question. We aim to develop the counterpart of PICO to structure clinical research data needs.MethodsWe use a data-driven approach to abstracting key concepts representing clinical research data needs by adapting and extending an expert-derived framework originally developed for defining cancer research data needs. We annotated clinical trial eligibility criteria, EHR data request logs, and data queries to electronic health records (EHR), to extract and harmonize concept classes representing clinical research data needs. We evaluated the class coverage, class preservation from the original framework, schema generalizability, schema understandability, and schema structural correctness through a semi-structured interview with eight multidisciplinary domain experts. We iteratively refined the schema based on the evaluations.ResultsOur data-driven schema preserved 68% of the 63 classes from the original framework and covered 88% (73/82) of the classes proposed by evaluators. Class coverage for participants of different backgrounds ranged from 60% to 100% with a median value of 95% agreement among the individual evaluators. The schema was found understandable and structurally sound.ConclusionsOur proposed schema may serve as the counterpart to PICO for improving the research data needs communication between researchers and informaticians.


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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON