Organizing with ORIS
GUILDFORD, U.K.—IDBS, a global provider of data management, analytics and modeling solutions, in March announced the deployment of a unique, enterprise translational medicine platform for the Integrated Cancer Centre at King’s Health Partners in the United Kingdom.
King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (also known as King's Health Partners) is a collaboration between King’s College London, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. It is one of five such partnerships in the United Kingdom.
Those close to the data partnership say the new technology-based approach will improve patient outcomes, research and collaboration by integrating clinical and molecular data from three major national health service trusts and a leading university. The system promises duplicative security measures to protect both patient health and confidentiality.
The new system, known as the Oncology Research Information System, (ORIS) was designed at the Integrated Cancer Centre and developed and implemented by IDBS. The goal is to enable King’s Health Partners to develop targeted, personalized cancer therapies according to the specific genetic and other characteristics of individual patients.
According to Simon Beaulah, director of healthcare marketing at IDBS, the platform is a pathbreaking solution to a multitude of data issues experienced by large, dispersed organizations such as King's Health Partners.
“Working with this relatively new organization of university partners and hospitals in the U.K. enables the successful cross-fertilization of translational medicine and university research,” Beaulah says. “King's Health Partners has one-quarter of the cancer beds in London among the hospitals in the partnership.”
The partnership, he says, is well regarded for its expertise in cancer, cardiology and mental health. It strives to be a world leader and this cross-enterprise framework is the way the healthcare partners think is best to make that happen. A data partnership, as is now being developed with IDBS, is the way to connect the sometimes disparate sets of information together.
ORIS is the first of its kind: a single cross-organizational research platform that will bring together patient data for all King’s Health Partners’ cancer cases. This comprehensive approach to cancer research has never before been able to be handled in one IT platform.
ORIS will provide a unique translational medicine hub, handling the complex analytical demands of translational research and improving collaboration between the partners.
“The integration of data will help those involved seamlessly select patients for studies, for one example,” says Beaulah. “We know there are particular bottlenecks in integrating information, and especially with the explosion in molecular data now available, we had to get a coherent view. Access to data and access to analytics are key roadblocks holding up research. With our platform enabling the integration of information, the amount of research performed by King's will increase, as will access to good quality data.”
The ORIS platform and associated organizational changes made to enable full implementation will help King’s Health Partners in several key ways. The platform provides one highly secure searchable hub for clinical, diagnostic, pathological, sample, research and genomics centric information integrated from multiple sources.
Especially relevant, adds Beaulah, is the thoughtful set of pseudonymization procedures put in to protect patient confidentiality and ensure careful access control to the system. In addition, powerful and comprehensive scientific and statistical analytics are available within the ORIS platform to support requirements across research, teaching and clinical areas.
Dr. Peter Parker, head of the Division of Cancer Studies and research and development lead for the Integrated Cancer Centre at King’s Health Partners, says the search for an appropriate IT solution to maximize information and protect patient data was not merely a data warehousing exercise. The health partners required a scalable, living system that could meet a variety of needs.
“The specific opportunities afforded by the ORIS platform all center on the routine use of consented patient data in the context of research data,” Parker says. “King’s Health Partners obtains permission from many patients to use clinical material for research into cancer. This is not an exercise in storing material but very much an active analytical program to build a molecular data repository—indeed, with the maturity of analytical platforms, this is increasingly generating substantial volumes of such data. Despite all the progress medical science has made, many cancer patients are still treated with protocols identified through a process of trial and error. Our aim is to change this through a targeted approach to cancer therapy, which will improve outcomes and patient quality of life.”
Parker adds that it required a long and thoughtful process to come to the decision to build the unique data solution with IDBS.
“IDBS was selected following an exhaustive tendering process,” Parker explains. “IDBS emerged as the lead provider with the right experience, familiarity with the research agenda and a strong shared vision of what can be achieved. We have been working with IDBS for nearly a year now, although we have had prior experience of some of their software. They clearly demonstrated a unique understanding of the complexities of translational medicine, core software provision and solution integration that we required for this program.”
Parker echoes Beaulah's sentiment that patient confidentiality is paramount. Beaulah says the IDBS system requires two levels of authentication to enter, yet can provide sufficient identifiers within the system in the event a patient should need to be contacted.
“The ORIS platform allows us to link this into a suitably anonymized dataset of clinical information enabling us to interpret, predict and test diagnostic, prognostic and predictive markers of cancer, and identify new therapeutic opportunities for development,” adds Parker.
For its part, IDBS says its deep understanding of the needs of healthcare organizations make its poised for success with this collaboration.
“IDBS understands that the improvement of patient outcomes will come from the successful delivery of targeted treatments, which requires a fundamental change in the approach healthcare organizations take to using increasingly complex research information and sharing of the clinical knowledge they generate,” says Neil Kipling, founder and CEO of IDBS. “Our broad understanding of the healthcare and pharmaceutical research sectors enables us to deliver the enabling technologies required to make the promise of personalized medicine a reality. The ORIS project further validates our strategy to design and build enterprise data management and analytics systems targeted at improving healthcare provision in the U.K. and worldwide.”
This is the first step in a five-year strategic relationship that could eventually expand to cover all disease areas including all oncology disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Parker says that the depth and breadth of the patient experience with King's Health Partners researchers can only benefit from the new approach to information sharing.
“Our research is patient-centered and covers the whole of the patient and indeed pre-patient pathway—from epidemiology to end-of-life care. Much of the value of ORIS, however, is tied into the molecular profiling of patients and tumors,” he says. “We are piloting the ORIS platform in breast cancer where we have a very strong activity in tumor analysis and intervention work. However, we will roll this out into other tumor types with priorities where this matches our critical mass of research and therapeutic developments, including lung, hemato-oncology, prostate and melanoma.”
IDBS is a global provider of innovative enterprise data management, analytics and modeling solutions. The company’s uniquely sophisticated platform technologies are used by more than 200 pharmaceutical companies, major healthcare providers, global leaders in academic study, and high tech companies to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve the productivity of industrial research and development and clinical research.