Use Cases

Use cases include the 100k Genomes Project with University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust and Genomics England; NIHR funded Leicester Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Leicester-Loughborough Lifestyle Biomedical Research Units; Leicester Cancer Research Biobank; environmental health research involving aerosols with the Leicester Earth Observation Science group; National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough and a key collaboration with the D2K Data to Knowledge research group in the School of Community Medicine at the University of Bristol for the ALSPAC longitudinal birth cohort studies and the DataShield statistical analysis tool.

More information on some of these is provided below:

BRICCS: Biomedical Research Informatics Centre for Cardiovascular Science: integrated biomedical research

While the BRICCS project is not technically a case study (it is more of a prototype) it serves as a good use case of what we're doing. Taken from the BRU web page:

BRICCS is a system for capturing and coding clinical information about patients with cardiovascular disease seen in UHL specifically for research purposes and for facilitating recruitment of patients into new studies. We will consider all patients attending relevant departments in UHL as potential research participants and proactively seek their consent to access their clinical notes and data for research.
University Hospitals of Leicester Trust already collects a large amount of information on patients, both of a generic nature and more detailed information on specific groups for national audit which are of interest to Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (e.g. those undergoing cardiac catheter-lab related procedures or coronary artery bypass and patients with myocardial infarction and acute coronary syndromes).

BRICCS has collected over 3,000 participant questionnaire responses with Onyx, stored samples from each using caTissue (over 80,000 samples), pulled over pathology data from the UHL systems, and are storing all the data in i2b2 ready to be used in research.

You can get more information about the BRICCS project at their website (

Leicester Cancer Biobank: specimen management

BRISSKit provided OpenSpecimen based solution for the Leicester Cancer Biobank during 2013-14. The broad remit was:

• Customise Open Specimen for localisation.
• Inroduce Biobank custom fields where required
• Acceptability with University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust
• Able to interface with current UHL databases
• Hold pathology, histology, biochemical, survival, chemocare (prescribing), CT data
• Sample tracking
• Annotatable - ability to store some research output data
• Upload patient data and specimens
• Validated, or have the capability of being validated to HTA and MHRA standards.

NHS-HE Forum Information Governance (IG) Working Group: ensuring IG compliance

BRISSKit and Dr Andrew Burnham, our Information Governance Lead and member of the University of Leicester IT Services Partnering Team, is a founding member of the NHS-HE Forum Information Governance Working Group. They are developing the NHS Information Governance Toolkit so that it is better suited to the requirements of research groups involved in clinical research.

Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit: integrated biomedical research

Saj Issa, BRISSKit technical lead, performed the following tasks:

• Installed a BRISSKit version of i2b2 with postgres upgrades.
• Developed ETL data routines from the locally developed Airway Disease Database to i2b2.
• Deployed and extended the open source version REDCap-to-i2b2 Loader to upload data from Redcap to i2b2.
• Integrated CiviCRM consent lookups with i2b2.
• Installed and configured Open Specimen for specimen management.
• Applications deployed on a mixture of the NHS cloud and University LAMP infrastructure.