Exploiting the potential of large databases of electronic health records for research using rapid search algorithms and an intuitive query interface.

Tate, Rosemary, Beloff, Natalia, Al-Radwan, Balques, Wickson, Joss, Puri, Shivani, Williams, Timothy, Van Staa, Tijeed and Bleach, Adrian (2014) Exploiting the potential of large databases of electronic health records for research using rapid search algorithms and an intuitive query interface. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. ISSN 1527-974X

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Abstract

Objective: UK primary care databases, which contain
diagnostic, demographic and prescribing information for
millions of patients geographically representative of the
UK, represent a significant resource for health services
and clinical research. They can be used to identify
patients with a specified disease or condition
( phenotyping) and to investigate patterns of diagnosis
and symptoms. Currently, extracting such information
manually is time-consuming and requires considerable
expertise. In order to exploit more fully the potential of
these large and complex databases, our interdisciplinary
team developed generic methods allowing access to
different types of user.

Materials and methods: Using the clinical practice
research datalink database, we have developed an online
user-focused system (TrialViz), which enables users
interactively to select suitable medical general practices
based on two criteria: suitability of the patient base for
the intended study ( phenotyping) and measures of data
quality.

Results: An end-to-end system, underpinned by an
innovative search algorithm, allows the user to extract
information in near real-time via an intuitive query
interface and to explore this information using interactive
visualization tools. A usability evaluation of this system
produced positive results.

Discussion: We present the challenges and results in
the development of TrialViz and our plans for its
extension for wider applications of clinical research.
Conclusions Our fast search algorithms and simple
query algorithms represent a significant advance for
users of clinical research databases.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: <28>This very recent article reports a major advance in algorithms (patent pending) for exploratory search and visualisation of the content of large bioinformatics relational databases such as the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) database. With high speed search, the CPRD database can now be used for a wider range of epidemiological studies, randomised controlled trials and pragmatic trials. The technology is being made available to CPRD users, which include all the major pharmaceutical companies with a presence in the UK. It also forms a core part of a Horizon2020 proposal under development with the University of Bordeaux.
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0076 Computer software
R Medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R858 Computer applications to medicine. Medical informatics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0648.5 Epidemics. Epidemiology. Quarantine. Disinfection
Depositing User: Luke Scott
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 12:31
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 04:20
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47132

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