CC BY 4.0 · Appl Clin Inform 2023; 14(01): 016-027
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1760081
Research Article

Ten Years of Medical Informatics and Standards Support for Clinical Research in an Infectious Diseases Network

Sara Mora
1   Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering (DIBRIS), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
Barbara Giannini
1   Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering (DIBRIS), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
Antonio Di Biagio
2   Infectious Diseases Unit, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, IRCCS for Oncology and Neuroscience, Genoa, Italy
3   Department of Infectious Disease, IRCCS AOU San Martino IST, (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Italy
Giovanni Cenderello
4   Infectious Diseases Unit, ASL-1 Imperiese, Sanremo, Imperia, Italy
Laura Ambra Nicolini
2   Infectious Diseases Unit, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, IRCCS for Oncology and Neuroscience, Genoa, Italy
Lucia Taramasso
2   Infectious Diseases Unit, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, IRCCS for Oncology and Neuroscience, Genoa, Italy
Chiara Dentone
2   Infectious Diseases Unit, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, IRCCS for Oncology and Neuroscience, Genoa, Italy
Matteo Bassetti
2   Infectious Diseases Unit, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, IRCCS for Oncology and Neuroscience, Genoa, Italy
3   Department of Infectious Disease, IRCCS AOU San Martino IST, (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Italy
Mauro Giacomini
1   Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering (DIBRIS), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Background It is 30 years since evidence-based medicine became a great support for individual clinical expertise in daily practice and scientific research. Electronic systems can be used to achieve the goal of collecting data from heterogeneous datasets and to support multicenter clinical trials. The Ligurian Infectious Diseases Network (LIDN) is a web-based platform for data collection and reuse originating from a regional effort and involving many professionals from different fields.

Objectives The objective of this work is to present an integrated system of ad hoc interfaces and tools that we use to perform pseudonymous clinical data collection, both manually and automatically, to support clinical trials.

Methods The project comprehends different scenarios of data collection systems, according to the degree of information technology of the involved centers. To be compliant with national regulations, the last developed connection is based on the standard Clinical Document Architecture Release 2 by Health Level 7 guidelines, interoperability is supported by the involvement of a terminology service.

Results Since 2011, the LIDN platform has involved more than 8,000 patients from eight different hospitals, treated or under treatment for at least one infectious disease among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and tuberculosis. Since 2013, systems for the automatic transfer of laboratory data have been updating patients' information for three centers, daily. Direct communication was set up between the LIDN architecture and three of the main national cohorts of HIV-infected patients.

Conclusion The LIDN was originally developed to support clinicians involved in the project in the management of data from HIV-infected patients through a web-based tool that could be easily used in primary-care units. Then, the developed system grew modularly to respond to the specific needs that arose over a time span of more than 10 years.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

The study was performed in compliance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects and was reviewed by the Ligurian Institutional Review Board.

Publication History

Received: 11 May 2022

Accepted: 16 November 2022

Article published online:
11 January 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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