Objective: To select and summarize key contributions to current research in the field of Clinical Research Informatics (CRI).
Method: A bibliographic search using a combination of MeSH and free terms search over PubMed was performed followed by a blinded review.
Results: The review process resulted in the selection of four papers illustrating various aspects of current research efforts in the area of CRI. The first paper tackles the challenge of extracting accurate phenotypes from Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs). Privacy protection within shared de-identified, patient-level research databases is the focus of the second selected paper. Two other papers exemplify the growing role of formal representation of clinical data - in metadata repositories - and knowledge - in ontologies - for supporting the process of reusing data for clinical research.
Conclusions: The selected articles demonstrate how concrete platforms are currently achieving interoperability across clinical research and care domains and have reached the evaluation phase. When EHRs linked to genetic data have the potential to shift the research focus from research driven patient recruitment to phenotyping in large population, a key issue is to lower patient re-identification risks for biomedical research databases. Current research illustrates the potential of knowledge engineering to support, in the coming years, the scientific lifecycle of clinical research.
Keywords: Biomedical Research; Clinical research; International Medical Informatics Association; Medical informatics; Nursing Research; Patient Selection; Pharmacovigilance; Phenotyping; yearbook.