The Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has long been recognized as an innovative institution advancing clinical and translational research in the study of rheumatic, immunologic, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases. However, there is growing recognition that some of the transformative, technologic advances in business and industry have not been effectively applied to medicine, nor efficiently integrated within clinical environments to support state-of-the-art biomedical research consistent with the NIAMS mission. The future of medicine, particularly clinical research, will see considerable care delivery outside the confines of traditional health care facilities, using data captured by mobile technology including Smartphone Apps and wearable biosensor devices. Our UAB team has developed expertise in many domains of applied health information technology (HIT). Therefore we propose the Building and InteGrating Digital heAlth Technology and Analytics (BIGDATA) Core Center for Clinical Research (CCCR) to harness these technologies and make them available to support a broad base of investigators both within the institution, and externally. We will combine Core capacities with our multiple, leveraged institutional resources to support research relevant to the NIAMS mission. These include the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science and its Partner Network that includes Auburn University (a collaborating institution in this application), the UAB Informatics Institute, our Health System Information Services, electronic health record and data warehouse, and collaborative institutional research centers whose members will make up a large portion of our user base. Encompassing three distinct and synergistic cores (the Data Capture and Integration [DCI] Resource Core, Methodologic, and Administrative), all aligned around the theme of mobile and digital health, informatics, real- world data and advanced analytics, the BIGDATA CCCR will bring innovative HIT tools and methods to the research community to effectively advance the NIAMS mission through the following Specific Aims:
Aim 1 : Promote outstanding, innovative, and synergistic rheumatologic and musculoskeletal disease-focused research and expedite clinical, translational and informatics-related projects at the University of Alabama at Birmingham through the utilization of our Methodologic Core composed of a diverse team with expertise in biostatistics, bioinformatics, clinical informatics, statistical genetics, epidemiology, computer science, health economics, and implementation science;
Aim 2 : To foster the development, refinement, and application of existing and de novo digital technology data capture and analysis tools integrated with traditional data sources to advance research in rheumatologic and musculoskeletal diseases through our Data Capture and Integration Core (DCI);
Aim 3 : To promote the training of both junior and established clinical and translational investigators in the current methods of clinical informatics and digital health tools applicable to the NIAMS mission through diverse enrichment activities overseen by our Administrative Core.
The Building and InnovatinG: Digital heAlth Technology and Analytics (BIGDATA) Core Center for Clinical Research (CCCR) encompasses three distinct and synergistic cores (Administrative, Data Capture & Integration, and Methodologic) aligned around the theme of mobile and digital health, informatics, real-world data and advanced analytics. The goal of the BIGDATA CCCR is to bring together innovative research and technology tools necessary to transform healthcare in the 21st century, and improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with rheumatologic, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases.