CCTR Hosts Final BIC Brown Bag Seminar Focused on Cohort Discovery and Clinical Data Reporting

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The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) hosted the final seminar in the BIC Brown Bag Lunch series which featured the various resources offered by the CCTR’s Biomedical Informatics Core (BIC).

On Thursday, May 12, Shannon Bruffy, IT specialist for BIC, and Jun He, research informatics application analyst for BIC, led a presentation on cohort discovery and clinical data reporting.

i2b2Bruffy focused her portion of the presentation on Cohort Discovery (i2b2), a tool that was developed at Harvard Partners Healthcare through a CTSA grant. i2b2 allows users to search a de-identified database, without IRB approval, to determine the existence of a set of patients meeting specified criteria. She also reviewed best practices for effective query building, which includes searching by time, multiple key words, and proper codes.

Jun He discussed the limitations and abilities of data extraction. Stressing the importance of good practice when submitting requests for data, He asked that requests be made after IRB approval has been obtained, with the conditions for requests provided, and with acronym explanations.

To submit a BIC request and learn if you’re eligible for assistance, visit go.vcu.edu/bicrequest.

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First image up top: Shannon Bruffy, IT specialist for CCTR’s Biomedical Informatics Core

Third image from top: Jun He, research informatics application analyst for CCTR’s Biomedical Informatics Core

CCTR Hosts Seminar to Explore Gambling Concerns in Fantasy Sports

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The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) held a Discovery Dialogue on Monday, May 9 at the Main Hospital’s Learning Center.  Brendan Dwyer, Ph.D., director of research and distance learning for the VCU Center for Sport Leadership, led the presentation titled, “Exploring Gambling Concerns in Fantasy Sports Participation.”

Dwyer has studied fantasy sports behavior for nine years. One of the first individuals to research the subject back in 2007, he watched fantasy sports participation take off with the growth of the internet. 

It is estimated that in 2007, 19.4 million people in the United States and Canada were playing fantasy sports. That number grew to 56.8 million people in 2015 [source].  

“I like to think of fantasy sports as a competitive form of book club,” Dwyer said. “Some people take it seriously and read the books, others don’t, but just like in book clubs, people seek fantasy sports for social interaction, entertainment and escape.”

The concern, Dwyer notes, is that unlike in book clubs there is a financial aspect to fantasy sports that can lead to problem gambling, especially in daily fantasy sport games where there are multiple opportunities to play. In 2006, the United States Congress passed a legislation called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) which regulates online gambling, but an exemption for fantasy sports led by the National Football League (NFL) was established.

With the estimated total market impact of fantasy sports to be around $4.6 billion, the NFL has skin in the game tied to brand-building and increased sports consumption. In 2006 the NFL was able to successfully argue that fantasy sports was not a form of gambling because months can pass before any money is exchanged and fantasy sports involves more skill than chance. 

Today, because of the passing of the UIGEA, it is up to the individual states to make decisions regarding fantasy sports and whether they violate state gaming prohibitions.

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First image up top: Brendan Dwyer, Ph.D., director of research and distance learning for the VCU Center for Sport Leadership

Biomedical Informatics Core Presents BIC Brown Bag Seminar on REDCap

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The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research recently hosted the second seminar of the four-part BIC Brown Bag Lunch series.

Tim Aro, information systems manager for the CCTR’s Biomedical Informatics Core (BIC), and Michael Tran, IT specialist for BIC, reviewed the benefits of REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture), the basics of building a project, advanced features, and the available data management support services offered by the CCTR.

A survey conducted in the summer of 2007 found that of 200 researchers, 80% were using Microsoft Excel as a database platform. In response to these findings, REDCap was created as a way of “making it easy to do the right thing,” Aro said.

In addition to being a secure platform, REDCap allows researchers to export and report on data, import and compare data, log field comments, lock records from further editing, and much more.

data poolAt the completion of Aro’s presentation, Tran reviewed more advanced REDCap features, such as branching logic and the ability to import data into REDCap from external data sources, including text files, databases, and electronic medical records (EMR).

Click here to download the full PowerPoint presentation.

The next BIC Brown Bag Lunch seminar will take place Thursday, May 12 at the Main Hospital’s Learning Center. From noon to 1 p.m., Shannon Buffy, IT specialist for BIC, will review the Cohort Discovery (i2b2) tool.

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First image up top: Tim Aro, information systems manager for the CCTR’s Biomedical Informatics Core

Last image down below: Michael Tran, IT specialist for the CCTR’s Biomedical Informatics Core