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1.  Development of a Research Dedicated Archival System (TARAS) in a University Hospital 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2010;24(5):864-873.
Recent healthcare policies have influenced the manner in which patient data is handled in research projects, and the regulations concerning protected health information have become significantly tighter. Thus, new procedures are needed to facilitate research while protecting the confidentiality of patient data and ensuring the integrity of clinical work in the expanding environment of electronic files and databases. We have addressed this problem in a university hospital setting by developing the Tampere Research Archival System (TARAS), an extensive data warehouse for research purposes. This dynamic system includes numerous integrated and pseudonymized imaging studies and clinical data. In a pilot study on asthma patients, we tested and improved the functionality of the data archival system. TARAS is feasible to use in retrieving, analyzing, and processing both image and non-image data. In this paper, we present a detailed workflow of the implementation process of the data warehouse, paying special attention to administrative, ethical, practical, and data security concerns. The establishment of TARAS will enhance and accelerate research practice at Tampere University Hospital, while also improving the safety of patient information as well as the prospects for national and international research collaboration. We hope that much can be learned from our experience of planning, designing, and implementing a research data warehouse combining imaging studies and medical records in a university hospital.
PMCID: PMC3180537  PMID: 21042830
PACS; Research PACS; Hospital information systems; Research Archival System; TARAS; Medical research; Large scale; Pseudonymization
2.  The Finnish Cardiovascular Study (FINCAVAS): characterising patients with high risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality 
The purpose of the Finnish Cardiovascular Study (FINCAVAS) is to construct a risk profile – using genetic, haemodynamic and electrocardiographic (ECG) markers – of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular diseases, events and deaths.
Methods and design
All patients scheduled for an exercise stress test at Tampere University Hospital and willing to participate have been and will be recruited between October 2001 and December 2007. The final number of participants is estimated to reach 5,000. Technically successful data on exercise tests using a bicycle ergometer have been collected of 2,212 patients (1,400 men and 812 women) by the end of 2004. In addition to repeated measurement of heart rate and blood pressure, digital high-resolution ECG at 500 Hz is recorded continuously during the entire exercise test, including the resting and recovery phases. About 20% of the patients are examined with coronary angiography. Genetic variations known or suspected to alter cardiovascular function or pathophysiology are analysed to elucidate the effects and interactions of these candidate genes, exercise and commonly used cardiovascular medications.
FINCAVAS compiles an extensive set of data on patient history, genetic variation, cardiovascular parameters, ECG markers as well as follow-up data on clinical events, hospitalisations and deaths. The data enables the development of new diagnostic and prognostic tools as well as assessments of the importance of existing markers.
PMCID: PMC1413555  PMID: 16515696

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