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, 21 (2). pp. 292-298. ISSN 1527-974X

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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
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: 08 Mar 2021 14:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47132

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