With a newly awarded contract from the US Department of Defense’s (DOD) Combat Casualty Care Research Program (CCCRP), the Coalition for National Trauma Research will curate, harmonize and upload a tranche of high-quality legacy data into the National Trauma Research Repository (NTRR); update common data elements (CDEs); and integrate the repository in coordination with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research Informatics System (FITBIR). As a likely component of FITBIR, this trauma repository will be the central warehouse for trauma clinical research data that result from federally funded military and civilian trauma research.
“In addition to populating the data repository with important legacy study data, CNTR is tasked with establishing a systems process for submission and use of legacy data going forward,” said Michelle Price, PhD, CNTR executive director.
A robust clinical trauma research repository will enable investigators to conduct a vast array of unique analyses, facilitating retrospective studies and secondary analyses that can advance the field, prevent deaths, and improve outcomes for the more than 2.4 million Americans severely injured every year.
According to CAPT Travis Polk, MC, USN, Director of the CCCRP, “The National Trauma Research Repository will allow US Government, academia, and industry to maximize the return on investment from DoD-funded trauma research by optimally leveraging data sharing. Additionally, by utilizing the FITBIR platform, we will increase our understanding of not just polytrauma or TBI in isolation, but also the critical population that experiences both brain injury and other severe injuries.”
CNTR will work with a steering committee comprised of officials from the DOD and other Federal agency representation to ensure that the recommended CDEs, policies, and procedures are all congruent with FITBIR CDEs and processes. “It’s really gratifying to see this project finally becoming the resource we envisioned when we first built it,” said Donald Jenkins, MD, Vice Chair for Quality in the Department of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Jenkins served as the primary investigator on the initial NTRR project, funded by the Department of Defense and completed in July of 2018.
This project has been made possible with $1.9 million in Community Project funding that was appropriated by Congress in FY22. The project is scheduled for completion within two years.
According to the FITBIR website, the FITBIR Informatics System is an extensible, scalable informatics platform for TBI relevant data (medical imaging, clinical assessment, environmental and behavioral history, etc.) and for all data types (text, numeric, image, time series, etc.). FITBIR was developed to share data across the entire TBI research field and to facilitate collaboration between laboratories, as well as interconnectivity with other informatics platforms.
Sharing data, methodologies, and associated tools, rather than summaries or interpretations of this information, can accelerate research progress by allowing re-analysis of data, as well as re-aggregation, integration, and rigorous comparison with other data, tools, and methods. This community-wide sharing requires common data definitions and standards, as well as comprehensive and coherent informatics approaches.
This material is based upon work supported by the United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity under Contract HT9425-23-P-0014. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Defense and/or the United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity.