CVRG Value to Users

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Value to Users 

The goal of the CVRG Project is to address the informatics needs of the cardiovascular research community. To do this, we have defined a set of Driving Biomedical Projects that provide us input on tool development. The CVRG then develops and deploys these tools for use by the community. CVRG tools address four major needs:

  • ontology development
  • data management
  • data analysis
  • data integration and querying

Users may contract the CVRG team to set up an instance of the CVRG infrastructure at Johns Hopkins University, with it functioning much like a data coordination repository. This provides users with a rapid, easy mechanism for managing project data. Alternatively, users may download CVRG tools and install them locally to complement already existing resources. In either case, the availability of CVRG tools help users to quickly assemble an infrastructure for managing and analyzing clinical research data. More details on deployment options can be found here.

Ontology Development

The main benefit of ontologies is to provide a way to organize knowledge for subsequent retrieval. The CVRG team has registered two ontologies with the National Center for Biomedical Ontologies (NCBO) in their Bioportal. These include electrocardiography and cardiac electrophysiology. Through collaboration with the NCBO, CVRG tools access these ontologies, for use in annotating data.

Data Management

The CVRG team has developed an infrastructure for managing multi-scale data. We define "primary data" as data obtained directly from data acquisition instruments. We define "derived data" to be data calculated from primary data. One benefit of the CVRG infrastructure is it manages the primary and derived data together, associating them directly with one another. Another benefit is that the infrastructure allows for the sharing of both primary and derived data. This allows for the (re-)analysis of the the primary data and the comparison across all the derived data.

Data Analysis

The CVRG team has developed services for analyzing cardiovascular data. These services include ECG analysis, heart shape and motion analysis and decision tree analysis. One benefit of the CVRG services is the users do not need their own computational resources to analyze the data. Another benefit is that the services can allow for processing large datasets in an asynchronous manner (i.e., the user submits the data for processing and returns when the job is done).

Data Integration

The most common sentiment across the CVRG community is the desire to integrate multi-scale data, to provide insight into cardiovascular disease and bring novel solutions to pre-existing conditions. Through data integration, the CVRG provides the benefit of allowing clinicians, epidemiologists and biostatisticians with the ability to combine multi-scale data. The CVRG infrastructure has tools to allow users to filter the multi-scale data based upon specific criteria and return those results to them.

While this concept works well within individual clinical studies, a common sentiment among the statistical community is that the number of subjects in the individual studies is not large enough to derive statistically significant results. Another benefit of the CVRG is that its infrastructure and data integration methods are capable of expansion beyond the realm of a single clinical study. With more trials using the CVRG infrastructure, there is the ability to expand the amount of information used in the statistical analyses.

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