TraIT is an IT platform for operational biomedical research projects with extensive data files (‘big data’). It offers an easy, accessible way to collect, analyse, archive, disseminate and secure data, thereby accelerating innovations in medical care and ultimately resulting in better healthcare at lower costs. TraIT is a Dutch public private collaboration with thirty partners.
As a founding partner of TraIT, NLeSC is responsible for responsible for creating a stable and secure environment where the tools developed by TraIT work packages are running together with an information portal for all (new) users of TraIT services.
The various TraIT work packages focus on selecting the right software packages and tools to address the needs of their specific user groups and subsequently developing, building and implementing those tools, work flows and pipelines in small scale pilot studies. Once the development phase is completed, large-scale implementation is required to make the tool, work flow or pipeline robust enough for the research community at large and to build the necessary infrastructure for access and support. In other words, the efforts of the work package have to be deployed to bring them to the next level.
TraIT “WP 6 Deployment and User Support” led by NLeSC eScience Research Engineer Rita Azevedo, is where all the output of the other work packages comes together. WP6 is the production environment where tools are implemented for large-scale usage. Once production is completed, WP6 offers a stable and secure environment where the tools and applications are running and it acts as the central portal to all TraIT activities. Support of all TraIT tool users is also a main task of WP6. At the moment the 1000 national and international translational biomedical researchers that make use of the TraIT tools are given support in the usage thereof via the service desk managed in WP6.
The 1,000th researcher in TraIT, Peggy Langenhoff, from the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg, is collaborating in a large-scale trial. Peggy Langenhoff, research coordinator Internal Medicine: “My colleagues and I are working on an improved composition of chemotherapy for patients with a form of head and neck cancer.” This particular study, called the Commence trial, was initiated by Dr C. van Herpen, internist-oncologist at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Aside from the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital, eight other hospitals are collaborating in the Commence trial. At every location, the study is conducted in an identical way, data are collected in an identical way and entered in the same manner in software applications through TraIT infrastructure. Ultimately, the data are shared with other researchers.
Modern biomedical research requires large volumes of patient data to assess the effectiveness of new treatments. Patient data are collected in long-term, costly clinical trials, such as the Commence trial. This type of nationwide collaborative project used to be left to its own devices in setting up the IT systems. With the advent of TraIT, much greater use can be made of standard solutions that are jointly designed and managed.
TraIT is an IT platform for operational biomedical research projects with extensive data files (‘big data’). It offers an easy, accessible way to collect, analyse, archive, disseminate and secure data, thereby accelerating innovations in medical care and ultimately resulting in better healthcare at lower costs. TraIT is a Dutch public-private partnership with thirty partners.
Gerrit Meijer, Principal Investigator of TraIT and Professor of Pathology at the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam: “It is fantastic that the 1,000th researcher has registered. The power of collaboration is being recognised by more and more researchers. I would venture to say that aligning efforts in this way can save years in the launch of new diagnostic and treatment methods, ultimately resulting in better and more efficient healthcare.”
More than 150 trials with data from thousands of patients are now using TraIT IT systems to store, integrate and analyse their data. Thanks to this powerful collaboration in the field of IT, optimal attention can also be devoted to organizational aspects, such as privacy and support.
TraIT is an ambitious Dutch project to develop an IT infrastructure for translational medicine: for the translation of scientific discoveries into applications for the patient. TraIT was launched in 2011 and is a project of the Dutch public-private partnership Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM), located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The TraIT project preferably uses existing standards and software platforms and favours open source software, if possible. TraIT currently has thirty partners, including all the university medical centres in the Netherlands, Philips, GlaxoSmithKline, Netherlands eScience Center, The Hyve and a number of SME companies. The Dutch Heart Foundation and the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) have also joined as partners. TraIT has already been collaborating with research groups at the international level.
For more information please contact Rita Azevedo, TraIT work packager leader and eScience Research Engineer.