Quick update + Part 1: What we did at the Feb 2015 Hack Event - Overview and Service Vision

Hi everyone,

We've been pulling out all the stops to complete a range of technical tasks on the software, including Puppet provisioning and work to improve patient cohort management using CiviCRM and integrate DataShield for biobanking with the Bristol Data2Knowledge group, among the highlights. We've also been completing a range of sustainability planning, audits and market research for the Jisc Business Case being considered for a proposed Jisc service in future.

More news on all that when we have it but in the meantime here's part 1 of a series of summaries which includes embedded videos from our February 2015 community event and hack. Special thanks to all who participated and to Kirsty Pitkin at EventAmplifier who helped us capture it all :)

BRISSKit Community Event and Hack, February 2015: Part 1 - Overview and Service Vision

The BRISSKit Data Meet and Hack Event gathered together 49 researchers, data managers, software engineers, doctors, trainers and consultants to encourage collaboration in the provision and use of open source software tooling for health research data management.

Attendees’ interests included putting i2b2 into a clinical context, introducing environmental variables into i2b2 alongside clinical data, helping non-technical users to use the BRISSKit tools, improving BRISSKit’s data input tools, and getting a general view of BRISSKit. The event featured a range of presentations and opportunities for attendees to work together to on projects to explore or extend BRISSKit’s functionality.

This is the first of a series of write-ups on the formal and informal presentations that took place throughout the event, and captures the results of the collaborative hack projects undertaken by attendees.

1. Presentation of BRISSKit Service Vision

Dr Jonathan Tedds, BRISSKit Principal Investigator, opened the event with an overview of the BRISSKit platform, which is designed to provide a stack of generic but integrated web applications that apply to many areas of the biomedical research process.

Jonathan introduced the main components, including CiviCRM, which provides patient cohort management; OpenSpecimen, which is used for sample management; Redcap and Onyx, which provide web-based, secure questionnaire data entry and survey management; and i2b2, which provides data warehousing and querying.

He explained that the unique selling points for BRISSKit include integrated support for the core research process and a stack of open source applications. It is very easy to set up, use and administer through a browser, and is transportable, so can be hosted locally or externally. It offers a much more secure approach to data management than the use of ad hoc spreadsheets, project by project. The project is currently exploring offering BRISSKit through the Jisc Shared Data Centre over the Janet academic network and with direct links in to the NHS N3 network, having appropriate Information Governance.

Jonathan detailed the BRISSKIt team’s co-design approach, working with the community to explore how BRISSKit can be made sustainable for the community going forward. This means the vision the BRISSKit project team chooses can and will change in response to feedback from the community.

Jonathan concluded by highlighting key collaborations, including work with the University of Bristol through the ALSPAC Birth Cohort Studies, DataShield and the Swansea SAIL-Farr node; University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust including the NIHR funded Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Lifestyle Biomedical Research Units; the Leicester Cancer Research Biobank and the University of Leicester Data to Knowledge for Practice strategic theme. Links to further details on these collaborations can be found here.

You can watch Jonathan Tedds’ presentation in full.