NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network

NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network

Millions of people. Strong collaborations. Privacy first.

Co-Chairs: Jeffrey Brown, Richard Platt, and Lesley Curtis
Project Manager: Beth Syat

Publications and Supplementary Material | Presentations

Established by the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Core, the NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network (DRN) enables investigators to collaborate with each other in the use of electronic health data, while also safeguarding protected health information and proprietary data. It supports both single- and multisite research programs.

The network’s querying capabilities reduce the need to share confidential or proprietary data by enabling authorized researchers to send queries to collaborators holding data (i.e., Data Partners). In some cases, queries can take the form of computer programs that a Data Partner can execute on a pre-existing dataset. The Data Partner can return the query result, typically aggregated (count) data, rather than the data itself. This form of remote querying reduces legal, regulatory, privacy, proprietary, and technical barriers associated with data sharing for research.

By facilitating knowledge exchange without requiring a massive data warehousing effort, the DRN combines local control and security with the power that can be achieved from large datasets. All data queries are opt-in; in other words, Data Partners can choose whether to accept a query and execute it.

The DRN uses the PopMedNet software application and complies with the standards for distributed querying supported by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Query Health Initiative and adopted by other research collaborations, including Mini-Sentinel.

The network seeks to build strong and trusted collaborations to support the research that will lead to improved health for millions of people around the world.


Drs. Jeffrey Brown and Lesley Curtis explain the NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network.

More about the NIH Collaboratory DRN

Presentations

3/11/2016: Grand Rounds Presentation: Uses of the NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network (Video; Slides)

6/5/2015: Grand Rounds Presentation: NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network (Video; Slides)

11/14/2014: Grand Rounds Presentation: Using the NIH Collaboratory's and PCORnet's Distributed Data Networks for Clinical Trials and Observational Research: A Preview (Video; Slides)

8/19/2014: Electronic Health Records Core Presentation at Steering Committee Meeting

6/13/2014: Grand Rounds Presentation: The NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network: A Privacy Protecting Method for Sharing Research Data Sets (Video; Slides)

2/24/2014: Distributed Research Network Presentation at Steering Committee Meeting

9/13/2013: Grand Rounds Presentation: The NIH Distributed Research Network: New Functionality and Future Potential (Video; Slides)

3/15/2013: Grand Rounds Presentation: NIH Distributed Research Network (Video; Slides)

Citation:

NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network: NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network. In: Rethinking Clinical Trials: A Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials. Bethesda, MD: NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. Available at: http://rethinkingclinicaltrials.org/nih-collaboratory-distributed-research-network-1/. Updated November 20, 2017.