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CTRA-Created Yale DOM Covid Explorer Is Important Research Tool

September 28, 2020
by Julie Parry

In mid-July, the Department of Internal Medicine launched the Yale DOM Covid Explorer (DOM-COVX) to provide access to COVID-related hospital data.

To date, 20 data engagement groups are working with this information and several papers and grant submissions have been published/submitted as a result.

“This database contains vast data on over 3000 patients within Yale New Haven Health and can be used in a variety of ways. This project really highlights our faculty’s commitment to an expansion of our intellectual culture and how we envision the continued development of research within our department,” said Gary V. Desir, MD, chair, Department of Internal Medicine.

The DOM-COVX tool is an open access dataset with clinical data of more than 3000 COVID-19+ patients across Yale New Haven Health. This resource is available to the Department of Internal Medicine and can be used for hypothesis generation, support research projects, and preliminary data for grant applications, and fostering inquisitiveness for department faculty.

Faculty members can engage with DOM-COVX in two ways. The first method allows for preliminary exploration by interested individuals of aggregated non-identified data that is refreshed weekly. The interactive website, accessible on the Yale network or via VPN, allows the rapid exploration of multiple hospitalization parameters including Demographics, Comorbidities, Laboratory Values, Medications, Procedures, and Vital Signs. Additionally, you can perform quick analyses with various scatter, box plots. These initial analyses will not require an HIC.

The second approach is for more detailed explorations. Researchers with IRB approval will be provided patient-level data. An approved IRB# and protocol is required and will be asked to be uploaded* at this link. At this point, the PI will be asked to complete the online survey requesting data from the DOM-COVX dataset. Once online request is received and IRB is reviewed and approved, PI and Co-PIs will receive access and export privileges to RedCap (database storage portal) via Yale NetID. For new variable requests, not currently in the DOM-COVX dataset, complete the survey at this link.

Additionally, ongoing studies can be integrated with the DOM-COVX dataset.

“Very few people could have accomplished this,” said Robert Soufer, MD, vice chair, Clinical Research. “Perry’s team at CTRA has really created a great tool in a very short amount of time.”

F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE, is the director of the Clinical and Translational Research Accelerator (CTRA), or the organization formerly known as the Program of Applied Translational Research (PATR). CTRA is dedicated to facilitating clinical research at Yale through novel methodologies, robust data infrastructure, collaboration, and support.

Over the year, PATR/CTRA has been under transition. With the support of Desir and Soufer, Wilson partnered with Monique Hinchcliff, MD, MS, to host three lunchtime open mics to talk about barriers to clinical research and strategies to conduct successful patient-focused research at Yale. They planned to host more events, but then the COVID-19 epidemic hit.

“COVID has definitely put in person meetings on hold. But that isn't stopping the mission of collaboration and outreach. We’ve brought multiple people into the program, and that is something I think that is also a little bit novel, that we wanted people who are really committed to these principles of sharing resources, sharing expertise, and helping each other. There's a real buy-in, if you're going to be part of CTRA, we ask people to contribute,” said Wilson.

One of the first projects of this new framework was the DOM-COVX. Through the infusion of resources and increased departmental support, the team hopes to continue to expand its reach.

“We'd obviously like to increase the services we can provide. We've had a lot of success providing data associated with COVID, and we'd love to be able to expand those data-provision services. In the end, we want to make the logistics of conducting clinical research at Yale easier so investigators can focus their energies on the science,” said Wilson.

CTRA is dedicated to the process of applying discoveries generated in the laboratory and in preclinical experiments, to the development of clinical studies, and to the design of clinical trials. For more information on their work, visit Clinical and Translational Research Accelerator.

Submitted by Julie Parry on September 28, 2020