Introduction: An open collaborative international network has been established which aims to improve inter-centre standards for collection of high-resolution, neurointensive care data on patients with traumatic brain injury. The group is also working towards the creation of an open access, detailed and validated database that will be useful for hypothesis generation. In Part A, we describe the underlying concept of the group and it's aims and in Part B we describe the current status of the groups development.
Methods: Four group meetings funded by the EEC have enabled definition of a "Core Dataset" to be collected from all centres regardless of specific project aim. A form based feasibility study was conducted and a prospective data collection exercise of core data using PC and hand held computer based methods is in progress.
Findings: A core-dataset was defined and can be downloaded from the BrainIT web-site (go to "Core dataset" link at: www.brainit.org). A form based feasibility study was conducted showing the overall feasibility for collection of the core data elements was high. Software tools for collection of the core dataset have been developed. Currently, 130 patient's data from 16 European centres have been recruited to the joint database as part of an EEC funded proof of concept study.
Interpretation: The BrainIT network provides a more standardised and higher resolution data collection mechanism for research groups, organisations and the device industry to conduct multicentre trials of new health care technology in patients with traumatic brain injury.