Category Archives: News

REDCap New Features

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The CRI’s instance of REDCap has been upgraded to version 7.6.0. Click here to read about the newest features and all other improvements. Highlighted new features include:

New Interface – a new look and layout is presented, and the base font is now Open Sans (previously Arial). The new font is slightly larger in size, providing better readability.
REDCap Messenger – a communication platform built directly into REDCap which allows users to communicate easily and efficiently with each other in a secure manner.
Repeating Instruments and Events – there is now the ability to repeat a data collection instrument or an entire event of instruments an unlimited number of times without having to setup the events beforehand.
Custom Event Labels – these custom labels can be used for piping data from any event in a longitudinal project when adding/editing events on the Define Events page.
Custom Record Status Dashboards – users can build and save custom versions of the Record Status Dashboard to customize the dashboard to their liking.
New Record Home Page – many record level actions (rename, delete, DAG) have been moved and consolidated on a new record home page.
New Form Status Save Buttons – redesign of save buttons, and new buttons for “Save & Exit Form” and “Save & Go to Next Record”.
Enhanced Buttons for Surveys – radio buttons and checkboxes can appear as large animated buttons that look more modern and stylish than traditional radios and checkboxes.
PDF Download for Survey Respondents – on an instrument’s survey settings page, a user may enable the option “Allow participants to download a PDF of their responses at end of survey?”.
New Action Tags – action tags are an excellent way to customize the data entry experience for surveys and forms.

Please contact REDCap Support with any questions.

Sam Volchenboum Receives Rally for Research Grant

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University of Chicago Medicine has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research to support CRI Director Sam Volchenboum’s work building a research data commons for rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric soft tissue cancer. This project, called INSTruCT, has the goal of bringing together clinical trials data from children with rhabdomyosarcoma around the world to enable data mining studies. Learn more about INSTruCT and the CRI’s other pediatric cancer research data commons work here.

Apply for Seed Funding for CRI Services!

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The Department of Pediatrics has released a Request for Applications for a new initiative to foster excellence in research scholarship. This initiative will provide seed funding for promising clinical and health outcomes research projects focused on the health of children and their families. In particular, the Department aims to promote the early career development of translational and clinical faculty researchers, with the goal of generating preliminary data for subsequent funding applications.

This seed funding will be available to support services from the Center for Research Informatics, such as data requests from the Clinical Research Data Warehouse, data analysis by the Bioinformatics Core, or application development.

The awards: four awards of up to $5000 each
Who is eligible: faculty, fellows, and residents with faculty mentors
How to apply: find the Request for Applications here and apply by October 15

CRI to play role in new pediatric data resource center

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As part of a newly announced five-year, $14.8 million NIH grant, the CRI will play a key role in building the Gabriella Miller Kids First pediatric data resource center. The center, a multi-institutional project headquartered at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will provide pediatric researchers with a much-needed way to work with large sets of genomic and clinical data related to childhood cancer in order to better predict and treat it.

Two UChicago data science groups, the CRI and the Center for Data Intensive Science (CDIS), will take part in the project under the leadership of CDIS Director Robert Grossman, PhD, and CRI Director Sam Volchenboum, MD, PhD. A team combining both groups’ expertise in building data commons will be responsible for designing and operating the technical foundations of the project: the software that will be used to process and share data within the center, including the integration of disparate data sources, coordination with third-party applications, and support for data analysis.

By leveraging our years of experience working with multi-institutional data networks and large biomedical datasets, through this project the CRI has the opportunity to make a major contribution toward ending childhood cancer. Read more about the Kids First center and UChicago’s role here.


UCM/Google partnership in the news

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The research collaboration between Google and University of Chicago Medicine was profiled this week in Becker’s Hospital Review, which called our partnership “a data-driven duo to watch.”

The article highlights how UCM will take advantage of the CRI’s Clinical Research Data Warehouse as a base for Google’s predictive models. CRI Director Sam Volchenboum explains why the CRDW is a particularly important resource for the Google project: “We’ve taken a very rigorous approach to our data warehouse that is not necessarily the norm. We’ve been able to take our clinical data and standardize it and clean it up in a way that makes it much more easy to analyze and to perform this type of machine learning.”

“Our digital trail leaves many clues, both subtle and overt, to our overall health and well-being.”

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In Wired, CRI Director Sam Volchenboum shares a thought-provoking essay on the potential of social networks like Facebook and Google to predict disease. As our daily lives generate more and more trackable data through social media, wearables, GPS, etc., algorithms could become better and better at recognizing patterns that could point to health conditions — but the potential benefits of this are balanced with significant risks. Read Sam’s take on it here.

UCM and CRI partner with Google to explore machine learning in healthcare

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Google has announced announced a new partnership with University of Chicago Medicine which will take advantage of the CRI’s experience and expertise in working with biomedical data and predictive algorithms.

The Google team will work with University researchers to apply advanced machine learning techniques to de-identified patient data. These models may detect patterns that enable doctors to predict future health events — meaning they could anticipate patients’ needs before they arise, improve outcomes, and save lives. The partnership will expand on work in this area that is already in progress at UCM, such as the eCART model for predicting cardiac arrest.

Read more about the partnership in the Chicago Tribune and on Google’s blog.