Representatives of five NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) presented several innovative applications and software tools that support NIH activities at the April 13 IC Applications Show & Tell (ICAST).
The semiannual event, hosted by the NIH Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and CIT, is “a forum for sharing tools and innovation created across NIH,” according to Stacy Charland, the deputy director of OCIO. The goal of ICAST is to share IC experiences, expertise, and methodologies to promote collaboration and meet common needs at NIH. The event generates a great deal of interest from the NIH community: “We get far more submissions than we can do in a two-hour forum,” she said. The next ICAST is scheduled for November.
The applications presented April 13 support three functional areas: administrative, extramural, and intramural. Learn more about each specific application below.
Administrative applications help ICs run customized searches of scientific data, allow ICs to perform data calls more efficiently, electronically route packages, enable cloud-based storage for endpoint client data, and increase accountability for government property.
NCiConnect: Data Call and FastTrack
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
NCI created two utilities within its NCiConnect intranet: Data Call to track routine requests for data within NCI with a single source to minimize email communications and present data in real time; and FastTrack to electronically route packages within NCI using route slips, like an internal shipping service.
Property Management Portal
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
The OD created the Property Management Portal to make it easier for users of government-furnished equipment to track property status and ensure property accountability.
Extramural applications help ICs work with external organizations. For example, three applications aid emergency responders with hazardous materials; another project highlights biomedical research investments from the world’s largest funding organizations.
Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Incident Response Tools
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Three software tools from the NLM provide fast, accurate, and critical information for first responders and healthcare providers responding HAZMAT incidents.
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
A sort of “Yelp for research,” World RePORT enables its users to visualize, monitor, and assess research funding in low- and middle-income countries, identify new opportunities for researchers and funders to build networks, and enable governments and donors to consider new, more strategic research investments.
Intramural applications allow IC researchers to reduce the time needed to perform labor-intensive data analysis.
Automated Mosaicism Detection Tool
National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP)
The UDP created a tool to automate a time-intensive, manual method for detecting mosaicism (the state of being composed of cells of two genetically different types) in cells.
Recessive Pair Finder
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
The UDP developed the Recessive Pair Finder to automate the process of finding pairs of recessive genes in genome-variant lists.