PMACS offers a number of options to facilitate the unique needs of researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine:
- Cloud Infrastructure via Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- High Performance Computing (PennHPC)
- Archive Storage
- Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap)
- Laboratory Information Management System/LIMS
- iLab: Core Facility Management System
- PennChart Research
Amazon Web Services (AWS) are a collection of infrastructure services that are available for fee-for-use purchase from Amazon. Capabilities include both block and file storage options, virtual servers, security, and reporting. Many cloud-based services use AWS as their infrastructure foundation, including Netflix and Dropbox. Researchers at Penn utilize AWS for large-scale computational needs; the fee-for-use model allows researchers to "spin-up" tens, hundreds, or thousands of virtual processing cores, process their data, and then delete the virtual cores. This model allows researchers to buy and use only what they need. This capability can be used as an "overflow" when on-premise centralized High-Performance Computing resources are utilized at capacity.
High-Performance Computing describes the high-speed, parallel processing of research data. The PennHPC system provides both high-speed storage and computational capabilities for the research community. Priced as a fee-for-use service, researchers buy only what they need without the requirement of purchasing large-scale equipment up-front. The HPC system is maintained centrally, by the PMACS department.
Long-term archive storage that can span thousands of terabytes is now available. This storage is a tape-based system that provides data mirroring for fault tolerance, and access via a simple Mac, Windows, or Linux drive mapping. This long-term storage is priced as a fee-for-use model, and clients have the ability to purchase only the storage they need, for as long as they need it. While slower than disk-based storage, this tape archive has expansion capabilities into the thousands of terabytes. This system allows clients to store data in a cost-effective manner, and have that data easily accessible days, months, or years in the future.
Research Electronic Data Capture (REDcap) is a web-browser based electronic data capture system developed by Vanderbilt University, and provided to Vanderbilt's academic partners free of charge. The system provides a platform by which researchers can design research databases, and provides capabilities such as electronic forms and automated workflow enabling study design and data collection.
LIMS software (LabVantage LIMS) provides a system that helps track biosamples and biosample data through their full lifecycle, including sample collection, aliquot creation, derivative creation, sample movement, sample analysis, sample depletion, etc. The LIMS allows a centrally managed system to serve diverse research needs, and ensures research data is kept secure both internal and external to Penn.
iLab is a web based software solution used by PSOM cores. It allows PIs and their lab members to enter requests for services from cores, and provides a central calendar based system for scheduling the use of core equipment. For UPenn researchers, if funds are available in CAMS, the funds can be used for requests in iLab.
UPHS uses EPIC as the software for the electronic medical record system. The EPIC clinical system is known as PennChart. Clinical documentation related to patients is required in PennChart, but additional documentation and workflows are available to facilitate study and subject management, such as recruitment alerts, integration with the Patient Portal (myPennMedicine), patient reported outcomes, and questionnaires. PennChart interfaces with the Penn CTMS, such that study, patient, and demographic data will remain current and accurate in both systems. If you have any questions or would like to submit a request, please submit a ticket at IS Service Request, and include “PennChart Research” in the description.
How do I get Access to the PennChart? The specific type of access that you will need in PennChart is contingent upon your role in clinical research study. You will need to complete the relevant training in Knowledgelink for your access level. For new users, that do not have access to PennChart, the department’s designated UPHS Lawson Manager is required to submit a PennChart Access Request Form
A Clinical Trials Management System (CTMS) is a software system designed to help principal investigators, study coordinators, and other faculty and staff track and report on nearly every aspect of a clinical trial. Paper-based processes are replaced with electronic processes, and data is aggregated for use in the CTMS, as well as potentially exported and interfaced for use in external systems such as a data warehouses and the electronic medical record. The PennCTMS interfaces to the PennChart electronic medical record, such that study, patient, and demographic data will remain current and accurate in both systems. If you have any questions or would like to submit a request, please submit a KACE ticket (choose the PennCTMS queue) or via the PennCTMS Online Submission Form.
How do I get Access to the Penn CTMS? You must submit the PennCTMS Access Request Form to firstname.lastname@example.org and complete in person training which can be found in Knowledge Link under Penn CTMS: New User training. All users should have a PennKey. Non-Penn staff can submit this form to obtain a guest PennKey.
PennVault is a suite of cloud-based, 21CFR Part 11 compliant content management applications tailored for the Life Sciences. eTMF is an electronic Trial Master file and provides Penn S;onsors with a secure repository to house trial documents, while tracking TMF completeness in real-time for inspection readiness. SiteVault is an electronic Regulatory Binder or Investigator Site File and has the ability use workflows to streamline document creation and management and improve efficiency. QualityDocs is a quality document management system and includes document workflows and lifecycles to meet and maintain GMP guidelines. If you have any questions or would like to submit a request, please submit a KACE ticket (choose the Veeva queue).
For more information, please contact James L. Kaylor at James.Kaylor@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.