The i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) software is a framework developed at an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing at Partners HealthCare System in Boston, MA (see www.i2b2.org). One of its overall aims is to facilitate the integration and use of data from heterogeneous sources, and in particular to facilitate the querying of genomic data and clinical data together.
Weill Cornell’s implementation of the i2b2 software was launched in early 2015 and offers researchers de-identified access to a growing repository of data from our outpatient electronic medical records system (Epic) and other sources, through an easy-to-use point-and-click interface. A collaboration recently established with the Weill Cornell Institute for Precision Medicine will make information about genomic variants available as part of i2b2 searches in the near future. I2b2 supports researchers in a variety of ways. Using its search functions, researchers can quickly assess the availability of a patient cohort of interest when planning for a research study. Later, with appropriate IRB approvals, cohorts identified through these queries can be re-identified as part of actual participant recruitment.