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Biomedical research gets its head into cloud computing
Date:8/17/2011

to work together to perform certain tasks. The system works well when the data that are being stored, accessed and shared are in common formats that are universally "recognized" by end user tools. But research data are often not captured or stored in formats that are compatible.

"When it comes to biomedical research, you have the digital equivalent of the Tower of Babel. One piece is written in French. And another is written in Russian. And maybe a third component is in Chinese," explains Payne. "TRIAD acts like the ultimate interpreter between all the different "languages" that biomedical data comes in so that researchers spend time figuring out how the information could improve the way we treat a disease rather than spend time finding and translating various data sets."

Built on the "framework" of the caGRID a successful middleware platform that Ohio State created for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2005, TRIAD pulls all of the data into a "cloud" where it can be translated into a "language" that the end user's data analysis tools can understand regardless of the tool(s) the end user is running. Further, because TRIAD works with existing research databases such as REDcap and I2B2, its adoption doesn't replace what researchers are already familiar with, but exponentially expands what information and types of data repositories they are able to access.

This type of access helps overcome complexities that are unique to biomedical informatics, such as the way that tissue samples and medical records are accessed and stored. Because of privacy issues, to match an individual tissue sample and a corresponding medical history becomes a search that must be approved by an internally. TRIAD enables researchers to anonymously match tissue samples with de-identified clinical data from medical records using what is known as "honest broker protocol," maintaining the patient's privacy rights while eliminating the time-intensive process of seeking
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Contact: David Crawford
crawford.1@osu.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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