Research IT 2020 Year in Review

Celebrating our team's achievements

A remarkable year in more ways than one

Dec 15, 2020: With shelter-in-place, research pace hasn't reduced. If anything, COVID-19 may have accelerated the pace of research and increased the sense of urgency. With the end of year approaching, we take a moment to celebrate some of the remarkable projects our team got knee deep in.



Real time COVID-19 data in STRIDE

Multiple teams at TDS came together to add a near real time data stream (via Reporting Workbench) from Epic to Research IT’s STRIDE database, our first generation research clinical data warehouse (CDW), to allow for improved COVID-19 research. The data stream contains live data for patients who undergo a COVID-19 test.

Real time patient reporting for sleep clinic

Alliance Sleep Questionnaire (ASQ), a comprehensive and innovative, web-based questionnaire created through a collaborative effort between Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and St. Luke’s Hospital and implemented in our sleep clinic in 2011 has integrated STARR-HL7 feed instead of STARR-Clarity feed, so patient assessments can be delivered to sleep medicine clinicians, enabling clinician to review of patient reports in real time (20% of patients fill out the assessment at their appointment).

REDCap Training

Following up on the success of our REDCap basic training, we started a REDCap intermediate training this year. Both the basic and intermediate curriculum are now available via Stanford Training and Registration System (STARS). Over 350 users have availed themselves of the REDCap training sessions. 

Data Science Training

We piloted and launched a data science training curriculum around OMOP and Nero. Over 60 students have completed the curriculum. A youtube channel was launched recently scale up our capabilities and to make the training more accessible during shelter-in-place.

Making Research IT resources easier to find 

In an attempt to make Research IT resources easier to find, we launched two new publicly accessible websites, REDCap (previously behind Single Sign On), and mHealth platform and augmented existing websites STARR, STRIDE, and STARR-OMOP

Manuscripts published for knowledge dissemination

Research IT is at the forefront of cloud use for Clinical Data Warehouse. We published our workflows, specifically text data de-identification and image data de-identification strategies, on the pre-print server so the broader community can benefit from our experience.

mhealth platform integrated with Firebase and CardinalKit

The next generation of the mHealth Platform, adds support for Google's Firestore database via the Firebase SDK, and related services such as identity management. Research IT is collaborating with the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign to ensure the new Open Source mobile development framework CardinalKit is pre-integrated with the mHealth Platform to make it easier, faster, and cheaper than ever to build new mobile applications for research.


Research IT supported launch of neurocoach study that is designed to increase at-home rehabilitation of stroke patients who suffer from hemiparesis. Hemiparesis (arm and/or leg weakness), affects up to 66% of stroke survivors, and is a major cause of post-stroke disability. This launch is particularly timely during COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Study participants work with their clinical researcher and therapist to manage daily, tailored rehabilitation therapy, entirely through their iPhone.

CHOIR migrated to cloud

Completed migration of the CHOIR learning healthcare system  to the Google Cloud. This release modernizes our CHOIR platform, used by nine different clinical areas at Stanford and serving over 35K patient assessments per year, to take advantage of cloud-native services such as Google's managed Kubernetes and Cloud SQL services. Most benefits of this new infrastructure are invisible to users (geographic redundancy, high-availability, security improvements) but allows for rapid development of new features.

New capabilities introduced in CHOIR

CHOIR has incorporated Red Hat SSO service. End users at the Hospital will notice reduced friction as they will be able to login with their existing credentials from SHC, and SCH.

We introduced a pre/ post Ketamine procedure survey for patients of the Adult Pain clinic. We also implemented a detailed version of the “Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire”. ACE has profound impact on a number of pediatric and adult health issues including mental health, pain, anxiety, depression and opioid misuse.

Finally, we launched a new feature allowing doctors to access patient health status and outcomes information from CHOIR within the Epic chart. This feature embeds CHOIR as a SMART on FHIR application. It appears to the user as a tab in Epic Hyperspace, and does not require any separate login.

CHOIR launched for a gastroenterology clinic

This is a first go-live of CHOIR within the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology department. Digestive Health Center uses CHOIR to send out survey links to patients before their appointments, so that they can complete these assessments at home using their phone or computer, or at the clinic using a provided tablet. Once the survey is completed, the provider can have patient’s health status even before the appointment. 

CHOIR launched in a Psychiatry clinic

We launched CHOIR in the first Psychiatry clinic, the Psychosocial Treatment Clinic. This is our first go-live within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

NICU features for High Risk Infant Follow-up program

Research IT released two significant new features in support of HRIF program - a) in the newly released Cardiac Portal, pediatric cardiac units are able to now refer directly into HRIF, bypassing the normal NICU based workflow used by all other referrals; b) a new Electronic Data Submission (EDS) capability, permitting integration with the local EMR, allowing hospitals to automate their NICU referrals and new patient registration, which dramatically reduces manual data entry burden on NICU staff.

The HRIF program is a California state-wide system referring at-risk infants into a three-year state-funded specialty care program. HRIF is a collaboration between Stanford’s Neonatal and Developmental Medicine Division and California Children's Services. At the core of HRIF is Research IT’s database, hosted and supported by the TDS Platform Services team. 

The database supported a new study focused on the smallest and most premature babies, and included ~50,000 infants who were in the NICUs of 143 California hospitals between 2008 and 2017.

Medication app in Epic

Research IT, in collaboration with SEAL team, Dr. Bernice Kwong and Dr. Beth Martin, designed an app that automatically organizes and visualizes medication and laboratory data in a more clinically meaningful way that is not possible within the current EHR system. 

Visible Ghosts of Isaan, a community health study in Thailand

Research IT's citizen science health equity platform, OurVoice, was used in the Visible Ghosts of Isaan project. Praveena Fernes, a Research Fellow facilitated a study using the OurVoice platform to track and document community health and wellbeing in the Northern Thai region of Rasi Salai, an area impacted negatively by the building of an upstream dam.  Her work and feedback provided us with insights for designing and building out new features in the platform to better enable remote collaboration which coincides well with the new paradigm of remote work in a post-COVID-19 world.  Feature augmentations include one view dashboard on the portal, and more granular troubleshooting protocols for the app.

OMOP for COVID-19 network studies 

STARR-OMOP went in beta earlier this year and OHDSI ATLAS was launched. To support COVID-19 studies, the vocabulary was updated to support the new tests. Stanford has since participated in COVID-19 network studies.


Stanford Medicine’s CATCH (Community Alliance to Test Coronavirus at Home) Study aims to track the spread of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Research IT's Solution team helped build a new platform for the study in collaboration with TDS and other business partners. 

COVID-19 wearable study

Our Solution's team helped Stanford Healthcare Innovation Lab (SHIL) complete the first phase of one of the world’s largest studies on infectious disease using data from wearable health monitoring devices, demonstrating sensitive detection of COVID-19 using a smartwatch.


In a collaborative endeavor with Stanford Medicine faculty and Gauss, our Solutions team helped launch and complete the Californians Fighting Against Coronavirus Together Study (CA-FACTS) COVID-19 study. Gauss’s at-home platform is being used to power CA-FACTS and CATCH study. This serology study, conducted across multiple counties in California, employs antibody tests and seeks to understand the prevalence of IgG/IgM antibodies to COVID-19 in the population.

Track COVID Study

The study leveraged Stanford REDCap platform heavily. The purpose of this public health surveillance initiative is to understand how many people are currently infected with COVID-19, how likely it is someone will become infected, and the body’s immune response to the coronavirus. 

SnapDx Study

Our Solutions team is enabling the SnapDx study, an at home screening kit for COVID-19 testing using saliva. Self-collected saliva shows sufficient sensitivities in both qPCR and RT-LAMP tests.