The TRIACS is interested in applying Web Services-based workflow technology to problems in clinical decision support and data analysis. This work exploits the extensively used service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure undertaken within the Triana Workflow Environment project. The TRIACS project was begun in October 2007 under STFC funding working with domain experts in the Diabetes Research Unit, Cardiff University School of Medicine.
TRIACS will transfer computer science knowledge and experience using the Triana Web Services framework from previous international projects to unsolved problems that require significant computational effort to solve. The first steps have involved approaches to problems in the field of diabetic retinopathy.
The TRIACS proof-of-concept build uses standard graphical 'drag and drop' user interfaces for 'wiring' service components together to create usable workflows for problem-solving. These components (each consisting of discrete, chainable pieces of program code) have their design driven by the structure of the domain problem itself. This feature means web services invoking the code can be developed with greater flexibility than 'monolithic' applications (that try to pre-integrate all aspects of the solution). This approach is suited where domain problems are complex, multi-step and have requirements that change quite often - as in medicine.
The TRIACS project is aimed at creating an innovative workflow system that can be applied to (for example) summaries of evidence, outcome risk analysis, data 'cleaning' steps, large-scale reformatting and statistical transformations / modelling for outcomes inferencing. Recent work has analysed use cases from diagnostic screening services to develop some proof-of-concept computational workflows. The screening scenarios also fit a distributed, patient-centred model of healthcare delivery anticipating much wider use of web services-based information and communications technologies in disease prevention and early diagnosis.
Professional builds developing out of the TRIACS proof-of-concept will form candidate applications for export as part of a substantial translational research effort at Cardiff University. The specific deliverables have also been aligned with strategic needs in UK national diagnostic services to maximise the chance of moving into a development-phase project.