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CCTSI > Informatics > Transcript-Episode13

CCTSI TIES Podcast Episode #13 Transcript

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Hello, I’m Addie Fletcher, and welcome to CCTSI TIES - a monthly podcast from the Translational Informatics Education Support team of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. In Episode 13, we feature the third annual ONC Datapalooza, The Colorado Translational Informatics Community, SeDLAC - a resource for secondary data use, the FCC gives hospitals the go ahead to go wireless, and finally we’ll talk Dermatology Informatics with community member, Robert Dellavalle. Let’s get started!

COME LEARN SOMETHING - Datapalooza <0:40>

First off, come learn something. You may not have been lucky enough to attend the geek version of Lollapalooza, the Third Annual Office of The National Coordinator’s Datapalooza, but you can still watch highlights from it. Since it’s summer time and there’s not much going on on campus, you might as well watch a video. You can find a link from our homepage at And if you do watch it, do me a favor, and let me know what Jon Bon Jovi has to do with health data? Thanks!

DO YOU WANT TO HELP? - Colorado Translational Informatics Community <1:07>

Do you want to help us? We want to help you too! Especially if you are interested in Informatics. But to do that, we need to find you - so go to our website, and click "Colorado Translational Informatics Community". From there you can sign up to have your name listed. You don’t have to be an informatics expert either! But it will help us keep you informed of new content - like this podcast!


Now a resource you can use. It’s not easy to analyze data when you don’t have any, or enough anyway. That’s why we’re proud to announce SeDLAC - the Secondary Data Library and Analysis Center. SeDLAC experts Bill LeBlanc and Caroline Emsermann can help you find large data sets from probability population surveys conducted at the national level. Caroline Emsermann, says they not only help researchers find datasets from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Center for Health Statistics and many other sources, they help analyze the data people have collected on their own.

"So what SeDLAC offers is if somebody has a research question and may not have a data set, we can help them find that. But we can also offer them statistical expertise in how to analyze the data, how to set up an analytical plan--for anybody who has a research question and needs to have an analysis done for a publication. And the only thing SeDLAC asks is that you cite the grant on any publications or any talks that are given."

You heard that right, this service is free, although analyst time is limited, so you do need to fill out a short application. Here’s Emsermann with an example of how SeDLAC has helped one researcher using publicly available data.

"I had one PI who came in and she was wanting to study sports injury and how care is sought for sports injury by race and ethnicity and social economic status. So we used the National Health Interview Survey, which is a household survey. And the reason she selected that survey is because she was very interested in those who are uninsured. We used simple survey questions that they’ll ask, ‘did you have a sports injury in the last year?’ and then they’d note that, and then attached to that record are all their demographics. We were able to get a socioeconomic variable, and race and ethnicity, and she wanted to see if there was any association between those who sought care--at emergency types of care--by race and ethnicity, and ended up actually as her dissertation topic, but she ended up with a publication."

Thanks Caroline! If SeDLAC sounds like something you might want to use, you can find it on the Informatics section of the CCTSI website.

WHAT’S NEW IN INFORMATICS - Hospitals Go Wireless <3:35>

Now we look at what’s new in informatics. This section of our podcast can cover anything from a biomedical discovery that uses informatics, to a tool that can make your research easier and faster. Big news in clinical informatics, the Federal Communications Commission cleared a roadblock for hospitals that want to monitor patients wirelessly for biometric signals. In May, the FCC set aside two spectrums for the development of Medical Body Area Network devices, or MBANs. On the lower range, hospitals can monitor patients in-house, and on the upper range, they can monitor them in the community. As for those outpatient monitoring devices, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Department of Defense say, as long as they are registered, there should be little interference with other users. The spectrum was formerly used by test pilots. Go to our transcript to see the full article from

ABOUT US - Robert Dellavalle <4:41>

Finally, a note about us. Each month we feature a member of the Colorado Translational Informatics Community. This month we met with Dermatologist Robert Dellavalle. Bob says he became interested in informatics when he and his colleagues were reviewing laws pertaining to teenagers and the use of tanning beds.

"We found tremendous variation in the laws. We found a few states that did have laws. But it took us a long time to get this review published and in the mean time we had done a lot of our research on the internet using websites, and some of the websites rotted or were no longer active when we got around to publishing our paper. So that made us interested in the whole issue of link rot and whether or not it was found extensively throughout scientific literature or just in a limited fashion."

Dellavalle and his colleagues were surprised to learn that even high ranked journals like JAMA and the New England Journal had broken links in their citations. This led to a study on the issue of link rot itself, and a publication in Science titled "Going, Going, Gone - Internet References." The team looked at possible solutions to the problem, but he says the situation is much the same, nearly 10 years later.

"But unfortunately there’s still not been any pervasive and complete solution. There are some Persistent URLs, which are possible. There’s something called the Internet Archive, which passively archives the internet and references. And there’s other services out there, but currently, there’s still some amount of link rot occurring over time even in the highest quality publications."

So while journals have found different ways to combat link rot, nobody has come up with a silver bullet - surprising given the other technologies we’ve come up with since the birth of the Internet. What you may not know about Bob Dellavalle is that when he attends and international Dermatology conference in Venice this summer, he will be able to speak the lingua italia--fluently. Dellavalle grew up in California, but his aunt was from Italy and from her he learned to speak conversational Italian. He says he has no trouble when he visits italy, because of the regional dialect his aunt spoke, which is...

"Lucca, which is the dialect that they teach as the formal Italian. So I was lucky in the sense that I learned the Italian generally spoken throughout the country and not seen as a dialect."

Thanks Dr. Robert Dellavalle! As an aside, Bob Dellavalle is no stranger to podcasting, having done several for the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. He also manages the journal’s Facebook page which they use to reach practitioners, the general public, and especially teens. You can find it at While you’re looking for that page, check out our Facebook page, also linked from our transcript.

We’ll that’s it for our podcast. Be sure to check our transcript for links to more information on these stories. As always this transcript is available on the CCTSI website, translational informatics pages, that’s, where you can also learn more about tools, watch videos, see a list of upcoming events, and find help for your research project. Thanks for listening!

For CCTSI TIES, I’m Addie Fletcher