Update from Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit on use of i2b2, civiCRM, RedCap in Cardiovascular Research

Part 4 of our series of updates from BRISSKit collaborators and users was presented at the Feb 2015 community and hack event by Nick Holden of the Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit on their use of i2b2, civiCRM, RedCap in Cardiovascular Research

Nick Holden gave a whistle stop tour of the software used by the NIHR funded Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), which has been using web based open source applications included in BRISSKit since before the BRISSKit project began. The BRU adopted i2b2, Open Specimen, CiviCRM, Obiba Onyx and latterly RedCap to address various parts of the research process across 16 different research projects with over 19,000 participants. They started out on this road precisely because commercial alternatives were too expensive to procure and sustain while writing everything from scratch in-house would have been much too demanding, and too expensive to resource. They chose to adopt existing open source tools that they could adapt and integrate as needed - exactly the BRISSKit philosophy! They see BRISSKit as a way of integrating and sustaining their solutions longer term e.g. if dedicated informatics expertise is no longer resourced or available in-house.

Although the vast majority of their recruitment is happening within the hospital, the tools are set up to allow recruitment and work to be carried out over a wider area. Nick illustrated this by describing their RedCap set up, which includes three different servers: one located behind the hospital firewall for projects on site; one visible on the NHS private internet backbone, N3, allowing data to be collected at other NHS sites; and one that is publicly visible but only used in survey mode, allowing study participants to complete questionnaires offsite.

Nick gave an overview of the data flow, explaining how the BRU uses CiviCRM to monitor every engagement with participants (including their consent), RedCap to complete questionnaires, then pipes this data into i2b2 each night together with data from their clinical data warehouse. This allows them to create cohorts with data from a range of sources.

You can watch Nick Holden’s presentation in full at: https://youtu.be/NRpkAv71oJ8