Conducting requirements analyses for research using routinely collected health data: A model driven approach
De Lusignan S., Cashman J., Poh N., Michalakidis G., Mason A., Desombre T., Krause P.
Background: Medical research increasingly requires the linkage of data from different sources. Conducting a requirements analysis for a new application is an established part of software engineering, but rarely reported in the biomedical literature; and no generic approaches have been published as to how to link heterogeneous health data. Methods: Literature review, followed by a consensus process to define how requirements for research, using, multiple data sources might be modeled. Results: We have developed a requirements analysis: i-ScheDULEs -The first components of the modeling process are indexing and create a rich picture of the research study. Secondly, we developed a series of reference models of progressive complexity: Data flow diagrams (DFD) to define data requirements; unified modeling language (UML) use case diagrams to capture study specific and governance requirements; and finally, business process models, using business process modeling notation (BPMN). Discussion: These requirements and their associated models should become part of research study protocols. © 2012 European Federation for Medical Informatics and IOS Press. All rights reserved.