How to Develop a Common Platform to Enable Interdisciplinary Research?

By Rupinder Mann, Femida Gwadry-Sridhar, Stephanie Bowman and John Soer.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Health care organizations collect a vast amount of patient data in many different ways. This data is a rich source of information that, with interdisciplinary research, can yield insights to improving patient care and treatment. It is imperative that this data is managed in the most efficient way to maximize its benefits and create usable information.
To facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration we need to provide enabling infrastructure, environment and computational support for researchers. To support our vision, optimize patient outcomes and give something back to the community, our team conceptualized and established a knowledge translation health informatics lab: I-THINK Research. Innovative Translation of Health INformatics and Knowledge Research has been established to design and implement health delivery systems and solutions. This research-based knowledge translation lab provides a unique interdisciplinary incubator that creates capacity to bring researchers, clinicians, policy makers, managers and information technology experts together, encouraging ongoing communication and collaboration between these otherwise disparate groups. This environment is essential to promote the utilization of research-generated knowledge that has applications to health systems and improved patient care.
The main focus in the development of the knowledge translation health informatics lab is on the implementation of an information and communications framework. However, we are proceeding with development ensuring that the intersection of information technology and life sciences will be leveraged towards improving patient health and resource utilization.
This paper illustrates the course of action that was employed to develop a common platform to enable research that cuts across several disciplines, technologies and professions in the quest of a common objective.

Keywords: Collaborative Work, Inter-disciplinary Research, Knowledge Translation, Health Informatics, Software Engineering

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.21-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.473MB).

Rupinder Mann

Project Manager, Health Informatics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

Rupinder Mann, B.Sc., B.E.Sc; is a Project Manager for Health Informatics at the Lawson Health Research Institute. Her experience in software engineering for over seven years enables her to apply knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project tasks to meet the project requirements. She works closely with the development and Information Management team in order to facilitate, monitor and prioritize the process. She supports in administration of the Lawson’s email accounts, web sites and user access. She assists researchers with migrating and hosting the clinical research databases on to Lawson’s secure IT platform, behind hospital firewall to ensure patient confidentiality in conjunction with Provincial Privacy Regulations. She also helps researchers with gathering and recognizing their project requirements, design the architecture, define data collection forms, help setup database, ensure regular backups, assist with quality assurance, documentation, and in following a complete project management methodology and software development life cycle.

Dr. Femida Gwadry-Sridhar

Director, Health Informatics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

Dr. Femida Gwadry-Sridhar, Ph.D. is a pharmacist, epidemiologist and methodologist with over 15 years of experience in clinical trials and disease registries. She was awarded a five-year CIHR New Investigator Award in Knowledge Translation (2006-2011). She holds a number of peer-reviewed grants from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (Canada) and from CIHR to evaluate knowledge translation. She is Director of Health Informatics at the Lawson Health Research Institute and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario. She is considered an expert in the area of measurement and methodology of medication compliance.

Stephanie Bowman

Manager, Grant Facilitation & Development, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

Stephanie Bowman is the Manager of Grant Development and Strategic Planning for Lawson Health Research Institute. She has over 20 years of administrative experience in the clinical academic and research environment, and has held many portfolios including Administrative Officer, Research Coordinator, and Manager of Administrative Process. During the last few years, Stephanie has been highly involved in the development and deployment of Lawson’s information technology core.

John Soer

Consultant, Information Technology, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

John Soer, B.Math is a self-employed software developer with over 10 years experience in the medical field. He graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelors of Mathematics (Honours Computer Science). He has worked on both research based systems, patient electronic chart based systems and disease optimization based systems.


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