Reference Implementations

BRIDG Implementation

Reference Implementations

The BRIDG Model has been used in a variety of ways by different types of organizations. Described here are some of those implementations.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the cancer Data Standards Registry and Repository (caDSR) and its associated applications help the research community manage and use data standards by providing the shared standards in a variety of human and machine readable contexts. caDSR has a database, application programming interfaces (APIs), and web-based applications for creating and using data standards for cancer metadata. The metadata in caDSR describe data elements, forms and information models used in cancer research and clinical trials. The 3.0.2 version of BRIDG was first registered in caDSR in 2010 to help expose its classes and attributes as a set of non-enumerated CDEs specified using generic ISO datatypes. This was during NCI’s caBIG initiative when models were routinely recorded in caDSR. Since then, we have realized that there are a multitude of ways to describe similar semantics when left to arbitrarily pick concepts from the NCI Thesaurus, and thus caDSR has a lot of content that is not automatically connected through their underlying metadata components, even though their semantics are the same. In 2017 we began experimenting with a more deliberate alignment of CDEs using BRIDG caDSR content as a higher-level semantic model, helping to unify semantics through a well-designed information model. Our first experiment was in joint project with the FDA and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) know as Common Data Model Harmonization (CDMH) project. During this project, the BRIDG team mapped the data elements in OMOP (ODHSI), PCORNet, I2B2ACT, and Sentinel (FDA) to BRIDG and the caDSR curation team registered the CDEs deliberately reusing the BRIDG components. This has enabled us to do simple queries that leverage the caDSR underlying meta model to retrieve semantically related CDEs. It allows us to link together models with different levels of granularity, and with different value sets. There are multiple ways to record “mappings” to BRIDG, such as adding explicit mapping tags as alternate designations for CDEs, but this method provides the most direct way to facilitate interoperability. We plan to leverage this unifying approach more in the future. A visualization of the 4 CDMs mapped to BRIDG can be seen at It uses the highest conceptual level of the BRIDG model as a starting point, and the user can collapse and expand the grid to explore the BRIDG semantics and related CDEs.

National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) is a combined research program of the National Marrow Donor Program® and the Medical College of Wisconsin which facilitates critical research on cellular therapy outcomes. Since 1972, just four years after the first successful hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), pioneers in the field of HCT realized the significance of what they were undertaking and the importance of collating and sharing data. This collaboration with the global scientific community has led to research that has increased survival and an enriched quality of life for thousands of patients. CIBMTR through its research partners has embraced data standards for electronic data capture and transfer. Common data elements (CDEs) within the Cancer Data Standards Repository (caDSR) for high-profile CIBMTR forms have been extracted and associated to the BRIDG model. These CDEs represent outcomes data for hematopoietic cell transplantations and other cellular therapies.

Thomas Jefferson University
A major barrier to the conduct of biomedical research is how difficult it is to share biomedical research data, both within and between institutions. Data located in different data repositories are almost always organized, categorized, and represented in different ways. This problem has been referred to as “the Chasm of Semantic Despair.” In an attempt to address this problem, the Cancer Informatics group at the NCI, in collaboration with their colleagues at the FDA, ISO, HL7, and CDISC, developed a new international standard data model for biomedical research called the Biomedical Research Integrated Domain Group (BRIDG) model. The purpose of the BRIDG model is to “bridge” the large number of Chasms of Semantic despair that exist both within and between academic medical centers, pharmaceutical companies, and government regulators. The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, has successfully designed and implemented a cancer research information system based on the NCI-BRIDG model. In this talk. Dr. Klumpp will describe how the BRIDG model has been implemented in the cancer research information system at Thomas Jefferson and the benefits of such an integrated system. (Summary of Dr. Klummp’s presentation to NCI CBIIT Speakers Series, Feb., 2019)
View Dr Klummp’s talk here

FDA’s Common Data Model Harmonization (CDMH)
The Common Data Model Harmonization (CDMH) Phase 1 project was designed to harmonize specific common data models (CDMs) such that important research information can be more easily shared and interpreted. The CDMs from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network (PCORNet), Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI), Informatics for Integrating Biology & the Bedside (i2b2/Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT)), Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP), and Sentinel were mapped to the Biomedical Research Integrated Domain Group (BRIDG) model (a global standard through Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC), Health Level Seven (HL7) and International Standards Organization (ISO)) as the intermediary model. The resulting ‘reference model’ from this harmonization (a BRIDG-informed database) was used to generate use case queries that were tested by several data partners, using electronic health records and administrative claims as data sources.

FDA’s Janus
The Janus is a data repository for subject-level clinical and nonclinical study data submitted to FDA as part of a regulatory submission. It supports a transparent, consistent, and efficient scientific review process by performing automated extraction, transformation, loading, management, and integration of data to facilitate regulatory review. The Janus conceptual model is informed by the BRIDG model, is designed to receive data in CDISC SDTM format, and can support other emerging study data exchange standards, such as HL7 FHIR, v3 and RDF.

Parexel Informatics have utilized BRIDG as the basis for a central common data model (CDM) to increase semantic consistency and quality across a diverse portfolio of products and services. BRIDG has provided standard, domain models, well-defined terminologies, consistent data types that support the use of those terminologies and provide metadata for structured data management. Together, these benefits create a “shared language” across disparate applications. BRIDG has been valuable in improving the quality of system integrations and new software development. This effort was launched to reduce the amount of time required to map customers’ applications, increase the ability to reuse existing code, and achieve greater consistency across projects. All new development projects will utilize the BRIDG-based CDM to have a common understanding of how business processes work, a single source of interoperable schemas, and greater consistency across those interoperable systems. This CDM will also make it easier to reuse existing code for disparate software implementations. Implementation of any standard requires an up-front investment for future value and Parexel intend to make this investment available to the wider community by making their implementation of BRIDG widely available.