Building a data infrastructure for conducting research in Ukraine
This report describes the IT infrastructure and health information exchange system (HIES) software developed for the International Consortium for Applied Radiation Research (ICARR) project. The research was conducted under a cooperative agreement funded by the US Department of Energy in collaboration with RTI International, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and the Research Centre for Radiation Medicine in Ukraine. The ICARR research consortium was formed to study how the human body responds to primarily low-level nuclear radiation exposure. A major component of the project was the creation of a cohort of workers hired to secure the deteriorating object shelter that surrounds Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant reactor #4. These consenting workers provided medical data and biological samples to the consortium for research testing. A significant challenge to the project was setting up an information technology system for data capture, data transmission, and information sharing among the international consortium partners. This paper describes how project goals and the research environment shaped the IT solution that was successfully deployed within nine months of contract award.