Clinical research informatics: a conceptual perspective

M. G. Kahn, C. Weng
2012 JAMIA Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association  
Clinical research informatics is the rapidly evolving sub-discipline within biomedical informatics that focuses on developing new informatics theories, tools, and solutions to accelerate the full translational continuum: basic research to clinical trials (T1), clinical trials to academic health center practice (T2), diffusion and implementation to community practice (T3), and 'real world' outcomes (T4). We present a conceptual model based on an informatics-enabled clinical research workflow,
more » ... egration across heterogeneous data sources, and core informatics tools and platforms. We use this conceptual model to highlight 18 new articles in the JAMIA special issue on clinical research informatics. Clinical research informatics (CRI) is the rapidly evolving sub-discipline within biomedical informatics that focuses on developing new informatics theories, tools, and solutions to accelerate the full translational continuum 1 2 : basic research to clinical trials (T1), clinical trials to academic health center practice (T2), diffusion and implementation to community practice (T3), and 'real world' outcomes (T4). 3 Two recent factors accelerating CRI research and development efforts are (1) the extensive and diverse informatics needs of the NIH Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards (CTSAs), 4e6 and (2) the growing interest in sustainable, large-scale, multi-institutional distributed research networks for comparative effectiveness research. 7e9 Given the large landscape that comprises translational science, CRI scientists are asked to conceive innovative informatics solutions that span biological, clinical, and population-based research. It is therefore not surprising that the field has simultaneously borrowed from and contributed to many related informatics disciplines. Paralleling the growth in CRI prominence, JAMIA has received an increasing number of CRI submissions. In 2010, five published articles were completely focused on CRI, 10e14 while in 2011 this number rose to 23, 15e37 accounting for 11.5% of all JAMIA articles for that year. There was a special section focused on CRI papers in the December 2011 supplement issue. Much of the increase can be attributed to publications from awardees of the CTSA, since publication rate is related to funding. 38 JAMIA publications acknowledging CTSA funding rose from three in 2009 39e41 to four in 2010 14 42e44 and 15 in 2011. 15 17 19 36 45e55 Some of the articles were not exclusively focused on CRI, but were directly related, covering many different topics that are highly relevant to CRI: data models and terminologies, 27 56e68 natural language processing (NLP), 16 50 61 69e99 surveillance systems, 48 65 80
doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-000968 pmid:22523344 pmcid:PMC3392857 fatcat:5zg7tavwubh4bpowo563pcn5ja