i2b2: Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside
The UF&Shands Academic Health Center IDR Team has deployed i2b2 , an NIH sponsored Query and Analysis tool. This tool and its data were approved by the UF IRB and can be used to access the UF&Shands IDR, which contains clinical data from a variety of clinical and administrative information systems within the institution. Currently, i2b2 can be used by faculty researchers to query clinical data across Gainesville-area health system locations.
How can it be used?
- To identify potential cohorts for various research designs, including clinical trials and secondary data analyses.
- To identify patients with particular clinical characteristics who have also consented to participate in research through the Consent2Share Program
- To explore existing clinical data, conduct descriptive analyses, and inform new research hypotheses.
The UF&Shands i2b2 system gives users the ability to formulate complex queries on clinical data using a simple graphical user interface and a set of well-defined patient characteristics. For example, an investigator planning a clinical trial may ask a question like: “How many patients between the ages of 40 and 65 with low back pain have been seen in the UF&Shands system in the last year and have consented to be re-contacted about possible research participation?” The i2b2 data environment contains patient demographics, diagnoses, procedures, select laboratory results, pain scores, inpatient and outpatient encounter characteristics, Biorepository specimen availability, Personalized Medicine Program data, Consent2Share data, and other variables. New data elements are being added to i2b2 on a monthly basis.
The UF&Shands i2b2 system protects patient identities by returning counts of patients that match a user-defined query. With additional IRB approval, researchers can work with the IDR Team of Honest Brokers to receive identified or de-identified data sets, based on their i2b2 queries.