As a founding partner of TraIT, the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) is responsible for responsible for creating a stable and secure environment where the tools developed by TraIT work packages are running together with an information portal for all (new) users of TraIT services.
The various TraIT work packages focus on selecting the right software packages and tools to address the needs of their specific user groups and subsequently developing, building and implementing those tools, work flows and pipelines in small scale pilot studies. Once the development phase is completed, large-scale implementation is required to make the tool, work flow or pipeline robust enough for the research community at large and to build the necessary infrastructure for access and support. In other words, the efforts of the work package have to be deployed to bring them to the next level.
TraIT "WP 6 Deployment and User Support" led by NLeSC eScience Research Engineer Rita Azevedo, is where all the output of the other work packages comes together. WP6 is the production environment where tools are implemented for large-scale usage. Once production is completed, WP6 offers a stable and secure environment where the tools and applications are running and it acts as the central portal to all TraIT activities. Support of all TraIT tool users is also a main task of WP6. At the moment the 1000 national and international translational biomedical researchers that make use of the TraIT tools are given support in the usage thereof via the service desk managed in WP6.
The 1000th researcher in TraIT, Peggy Langenhoff, works on behalf of the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis in Tilburg on a large project. Peggy Langenhoff, Research Co-ordinator Internal Medicine, stated: "My colleagues and I work on an enhanced composition of chemotherapies for patients with a type of head and neck cancer." This specific research, named the Commence study, is being co-ordinated by Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Apart from the Elisabeth hospital, eight other hospital are collaborating in the Commence study. The research is carried out, the data gathered and imported identically across the hospitals using the TraIT infrastructure. Eventually this data will be shared will be shared with other researchers.
Modern biomedical research requires large amounts of patient data to be able to say something about the efficiency of new treatments. Patient data is gathered in long term en costly clinical studies, the Commence study being one of them. These types of national collaborative projects were previously thrown on their own resources when setting up IT systems. TraIT enables collaborative projects to use standardized solutions that can be set up and managed jointly.
Gerrit Meijer, Principal Investigator of TraIT and Professor of Pathology at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, stated: "It is fantastic that the thousandth researcher has subscribed. The power of collaboration is being recognized by more and more researchers. I am confident to say that such collaborations can save years when introducing new diagnostic and treatment methods, resulting in better and more efficient health care."
Over 150 studies with thousands of patients are currently using TraIT IT systems to store, integrate, and analyze their data. Thanks to this collaboration in the field of IT, specific attention can also be paid to organisational aspects such as privacy and support.
TraIT is an ambitious Dutch project to design an IT-infrastructure for translational medicine: to translate scientific discoveries to patient health care. TraIT started in 2011 as a project of the Dutch public private collaboration Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM), situated at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The TraIT project preferably utilizes existing standards and softwareplatforms and, if possible, open source software. TraIT currently consists of 30 partners, among which all University Medical Centers of the Netherlands, Philips, GlaxoSmithKline, the Netherlands eScience Center and several SMEs. The Dutch Hartstichting and the Dutch Cancer Society are also partners in this project. Within TraIT, research groups are collaborating on an international level.