The National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIEHS) https://www.niehs.nih.gov part of NIH, has entered a new era of clinical research aided by the advent of big data and electronic health and clinical research records. Technology has increased the capacity for monitoring real-life biological and exposure assessments, and the ability to find better ways to approach precision and personalized medicine.
However, there are several Informatics & Information Technology (I&IT) challenges that researchers have to deal with. The challenges include privacy, encryption, safety, integration and cross communication between disparate databases, big data storage and analysis capacities, accessibility across institutes and NIH intramural and extramural institutions, and electronic interactions among investigators and study subjects.
The “Informatics and Information Technology Strategic Roadmap FY 2019-2021” developed by NIEHS discusses their strategic capability priorities which includes their “Clinical Informatics and & Information Technology (Clinical I&IT) Plan.”
One goal in the Clinical I&IT plan is to establish telemedicine capabilities since the use of technology is important to use in research and medicine to expand research capacity while curtailing costs in terms of travel.
Success will be defined by the ability to develop user-friendly, reliable, seamless, secure encrypted, confidential interactions with subjects not only at home but also in multiple collaborating medicals facilities.
Other goals for the Clinical I&IT Plan are to:
- Develop an overarching architecture for both systems and software development
- Develop, plan, and implement a plan for managing genomic data
- Integrate NIEHS, and Trans-NIH clinical and genomics data sets and repositories
- Establish Secure interfaces with the Clinical Research Branch (CRB) research subjects
- Develop stable relationship with CRB to support systems alignment
- Enhance the ability to recruit subjects for clinical studies
- Enable software developers to build data sharing and interoperability services into clinical projects.
Go to https://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/assets/docs/informatics_and_information_technology_strategic+roadmap_508.pdf for more information on the I & IT Strategic Roadmap.