Introduction: Accessing Images and Clinical Data

The Human Imaging Research Office (HIRO) provides access to images and other clinical data for researchers at the University of Chicago who have a research study protocol that has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This access is given in a way which reduces exposure to Protected Health Information (PHI) by eliminating (or substituting) certain identifiers, thus making it easier for researchers to be compliant with IRB and HIPAA regulations.

Accessing images and other clinical data through the HIRO requires only a few steps:

(1) Learn about HIRO services

Learn about the data services that the HIRO provides.

Step 1: Services that the HIRO Provides

(2) Learn about data research, privacy and security regulations

Ensure that your study is in compliance with IRB, HIPAA, and UCMC regulations.

Step 2: Obtaining an IRB Protocol and Understanding HIPAA

(3) Obtain a HIRO account

If you are a Principal Investigator (PI) on an IRB protocol, or you have been designated as a HIRO Technical Liaison by a PI, you will be able use your HIRO account to register that protocol with the HIRO, assign other HIRO users to your protocol, and grant them roles/permissions. If you are not a PI but are granted roles and access by the PI of a validated IRB protocol, you will be given HIRO and broker system access according to the roles assigned to you by the PI of that protocol.

Step 3: Obtaining Accounts

(4) Register a research protocol

If you are the Principal Investigator on an IRB-approved protocol, you can register your IRB protocol with the HIRO. This will allow you to assign roles to users that will enable them to request and/or download partially de-identified images and other clinical data.

If you are not the Principal Investigator on the IRB protocol you would like to request data for, have your PI create a HIRO account. After their account has been created, have him/her register the IRB protocol with HIRO and add roles for research team members (including you). Decide whether you and your research team would like to download reduced-PHI clinical data yourselves through the Enterprise Research Data Broker (ERDB) systems, or if you would rather have HIRO deliver your data to you via a "full-service" data request. Alternatively, your PI can designate you as a "technical liaison" and you can perform these steps yourself on your PI's behalf.

Step 4: Register your IRB-Approved Protocol with HIRO

(5) Request or retrieve the desired data

Access your research project's images and clinical data by either requesting these data from the HIRO or by using the broker systems yourself to access the data.

Step 5: Using the Broker Systems and HIRO