DebugIT works complementary to approaches such as applied in life sciences, molecular biology or health policy to reinforce and support the war against infectious pathogens. This includes the detection and prevention of resistances, as well as improved management strategies and healthcare workflow. Everyday, large amounts of data is generated, collected and stored in numerous clinical environments. However there is only very little secondary use of this information to improve the quality and safety of care. While the amount continues to grow, there is urgent need to develop a comprehensive system to manage and understand this data, including influencing the way it is collected, stored, shared and analysed. DebugIT specifically addresses many of the present obstacles to exploiting infection management data, including

  1. The lack of technical interoperability: Integrating proprietary and heterogeneous clinical and non-clinical databases and systems from distributed sources is still a highly challenging task.
  2. The lack of semantic interoperability is of even greater concern. Various pieces of information and data must have the same meaning in order to be analysed together.
  3. The missing transparency about quality and reliability: Any analysis of the data should imply the accessibility of information beforehand which characterises the source. This will allow the assessment of its quality, reliability, timeliness and relevance.
  4. The low quality: The intrinsic character of real-world clinical data is full of missing values, errors and noise. This is rarely taken into account in limited research studies.
  5. The multimedia barrier and the ability to merge several different sources and modalities of information. One of the complex characteristics of data in life sciences is the multiplicity of media types, ranging from numbers and simple text to images to audio and video.
  6. The contradicting stakeholder interests: This is a rarely mentioned, though important barrier. This is due to the many different and sometimes opposite interests of stakeholders active in this domain, especially when it comes to operational analysis, such as resource usage, efficiency and costs.
  7. The security, privacy and confidentiality barriers: the power gained in aggregating data from many sources can lead to risks for the patient’s or the citizen’s privacy rights.

The concept developed as foundation for the DebugIT project addresses all of these issues in an operational manner with the ultimate goal to develop a new, highly advanced and pre-eminent tool aiming at producing a new and efficient weapon for the war against infectious pathogens across all health system actors and levels.

A short overview of the DebugIT Concept can be downloaded here.