BioMed DAR is a SSSO (Standard Systems Support Office) that provides clinical research data management support and a governance framework to strategic A*STAR BMRC programmes. Briefly, DAR manages the data life cycle of the cohort datasets through 3 operatives - data governance, data management operations (cleaning, integration, cataloguing, movement, usage) and s/w development. DAR builds and uses its own in-house data warehouse, data catalogue, data visualizers and secured data exchange API libraries. In-house s/w builds allow us to adapt and integrate data management or governance workflow into our systems easily. Currently, DAR helps to host IAF programs like ATTRaCT, CaLiBre, WCIT and GUSTO.
On data security (See Figure 1), it is important to note that DAR does not store identifiable datasets and works with clinical data stakeholders to import only de-identified data into BII. Meanwhile, DAR operates within the BII ISO27001 certified environment for hosting its data warehousing, ETL processes and data sandboxes where strict SOP are in place to track data movement. Physically, the ISO27001 servers are located in designated server rooms where staff movement are logged and captured through CCTV. As an additional measure, the ISO27001 servers are caged up to pose further deterrence to the physical access of the disk drives.
On data governance (see Figure 2), data access of each cohort dataset needs to be approved by the respective cohort’s DAC (data access committee). This requires the project proposal to clearly define the purpose, scope and duration of the data usage and then subjected to a DAC review. Only upon DAC approval, the scoped dataset will then be ETLed (extract/transform/load) from DAR’s data warehouse to a designated VPN sandbox environment for its intended usage. Generally, no export of data will be allowed while the analysis results will need further approval by a data concierge team.
Wong Wing Cheong received his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from NTU. He joined A*STAR under the joint MSc in Bioinformatics from A*STAR/NUS and subsequently completed his Dr. Rer. Nat (suma cum laude) in Computer Science from Leipzig University. He has been a Principal Investigator with BII since 2014 and is currently the Head/Principal Investigator of the BioMed DAR group since 2019.
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