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Monday, September 5, 2011

Health Informatics Trial Enhancement Project + Biomed Central Trials Journal

This article covering the use of routinely collected healthcare data to select patients who fit clinical trials' entry criteria comes courtesy of the recently published NCRI Informatics Initiative Newsletter (see link below) in a piece also covering the Biomed Central journal Trials.

’The Health Informatics Trial Enhancement Project (HITE): Using routinely collected primary care data to identify potential participants for a depression trial.’

This article was frst published in April 2010 – “Old news”, you might think; representations from the Swansea University Health Information Research Unit’s Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) team at our [NCRI and NCI caBIG] joint conference earlier this year, however, highlighted the ongoing need to establish the value which routinely collected patient data may have in clinical trials development and other forms of biomedical research.

Indeed, we are currently collaborating with the National Institute for Health Research on an initiative looking to make similar services available to researchers in the UK (see the Research Capability Programme under Systems at This service has already begun to deliver linked data to researchers at King’s College London facilitating a study investigating how mental disorder in patients impacts upon the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The above article demonstrates the use of a SAIL database of routinely collected primary care data to identify patients suitable for participation in a clinical trial; and goes on to describe the validation of the computer- generated results by independent clinicians.

The researchers’ algorithm identifed 867 patients from a population drawn from fve general practices. The measurement of the sensitivity and specifcity of this selection demonstrated a high degree of accuracy such that the authors were able to conclude: “This... study showed that routinely collected primary care data can be used to identify potential participants for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial.”

NCRI Informatics Initiative Newsletters

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