Informatics Core Services


The Medical Imaging, Informatics, and AI Core supports Emory investigators and the wider Georgia research community through the Georgia CTSA by obtaining access, curating data, analyzing data, and creating novel informatics solutions for single or multi-center studies. The Core consists of a team of engineers, data scientists, and clinicians working together to provide expertise through an array of services including but not limited to informatics architecture design, the processing of data, real-time data flows, grant generation, and more. Each of the services may be tailored to fit the individual needs of each investigator. Please contact us at ci.core@dbmi.emory.edu with inquiries.

Informatics Service Descriptions

SpringBoard – A consulting service for investigators seeking insight and input on acquiring, storing, and using data in their investigations.  Access to SpringBoard is encouraged at the conceptualization phase of a study to ensure that investigators are appropriately resourced to complete their study with adequate resources and statistical power. SpringBoard consultations are available throughout an investigator’s work whenever data issues arise providing insight on either self-management or core accessible services although maximal benefit is obtained by engaging in consultation in the design phase of a study.

CohortCount – There are many investigators that have an idea for a study but do not have the ability to determine if there is a sufficient patient population to conduct the study with the available data at Emory or affiliated facilities. The Core’s CohortCount service goes beyond the i2b2 instance at Emory and provides guided, consultative acquisition of a total number of candidate patients for such a study based on multiple variables such as those available in the EMR or other clinical databases. Facilities including Emory Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Grady Memorial Hospital, and the VA.

DataDig – Extracting data from EMRs and other clinical databases is a complex and arduous task and most investigators do not have the time and/or technical credentials to accomplish the task. Many larger clinical departments have analysts that are fully occupied with administrative efforts and are under-resourced for research activities.  Smaller or non-clinical departments are frequently without such intrinsic talent. Moreover, lack of familiarity with the medical domain can lead to significant mistakes for new analysts. The DataDig service is designed to assist investigators with data extraction from clinical databases in a collaborative effort with the information technology departments at each health system and the clinical domain experts.  This will be accomplished using clinical investigators at each facility that are charged with being liaisons to such data and BMI staff dedicated to extracting, collating (and deidentifying data if appropriate) as required.

DataGrab – Sometimes investigators need data from devices or resources beyond standard medical databases, such as from wearables, mobile phones, social media, enduring sensors, etc. The DataGrab service is designed to address these situations.  Using Core resources, BMI staff and investigators are able to extract and develop comprehensive datasets from diverse data sources.

DataWrangle - There is often the need to merge data from multiple sources prior to analysis. This can be the simple integration of data from two separate EMRs or as complex as creating a dataset from a streaming mobile health device and integrating that data with administrative and EMR data. The DataWrangle service provides the necessary insight to generate comprehensive datasets from multiple entities that are ready for cleaning and analysis. It also provides services such as normalization, ontology encoding, de-identification, and advice on encoding, representation, and informatics pipelines, including cloud services.

DataDetox – Once a dataset has been fully extracted and created there are frequent concerns regarding elements that are erroneous, improperly converted, or difficult to interpret. This service may also include de-identification. The Core’s DataDetox service provides necessary insight and technical expertise in cleaning the data using a combination of clinicians, research investigators, and staff.

RealTimeData – Although many investigations are amenable to retrospective data or data archived in various sources, there are some situations in which data must be aggregated and presented in near real-time.  This includes enrollment in clinical trials or testing of new technologies/informatics methods. The RealTimeData service provides the necessary staff to develop, implement, and support such systems for research and development purposes.

DataHack - BMI faculty and staff represent a valuable resource of state-of-the-art knowledge in the analysis of medical data, ranging from the application of signal processing to deep learning. This service provides advice on which experts to work with and potential techniques to employ on data.

GrantGen - This service provides researchers with tailored text for grants on Biomedical Informatics pipelines, processing, etc, including all of the above services.

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