Josephine Briggs, MD
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Opening Keynote "Research in an IT Connected World: Building Better Partnerships – NIH and Health Care Systems"
The era of ‘Big Data’ has arrived for biomedical research, bringing with it immense challenges as well as spectacular opportunities. NIH is establishing major programs with the potential to transform the future of US biomedical research by building the capacities necessary for these challenges. These programs will strengthen research partnerships with health care systems and the IT networks that support them.
The Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, to be launched in 2014, will implement a set of recommendations from the Data and Informatics Working Group to the Advisory Committee to the Director. Investments are planned to meet scientific needs to manage and utilize large complex datasets, including strengthening training, and investing in improved analysis methods and software development and dissemination. NIH is also evaluating strengthening data and software sharing policies, and the potential creation of catalogs of research data, and data/metadata standards.
The Common Fund’s Health Care Systems (HCS) Research Collaboratory program has the goal to strengthen the national capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale research studies by engaging major health care delivery organizations as research partners. The aim of the program is to provide a framework of implementation methods and best practices that will enable the participation of many health care systems in clinical research. Research conducted in partnership with health care systems is essential to strengthen the relevance of research results to health practice. Seven demonstration projects, currently in a feasibility phase, are developing detailed methods to implement rigorous randomized studies of questions of major public health impact. These studies, and the IT infrastructure that will make them possible, will be described in detail.