The COLS Plan


The immensity of the data set that will be generated by the COLS samples and comprehensive health data presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Security and confidentiality requirements are also critical. Due to the trillions of data points that will be collected, there is no turn-key IT solution that will work perfectly for COLS. We must use a combination of off-the-shelf and custom solutions. Five years ago, this technology integration would not have been possible. Today, there are efficient ways to aggregate EHR information, encrypt and anonymize databases, and use machine learning to analyze huge data sets.

Many of the challenges of logistics and scale that have plagued previous studies are being alleviated with IT solutions. For example, until recently, consenting patients could only be done on paper. This creates volumes of paperwork and potential for human error. Electronic consents have been shown to improve participants’ comprehension and decrease administrative burden. Therefore, COLS is evaluating consenting participants digitally through eConsents.

COLS is currently being advised by leaders at Intel, BurstIQ, Anonos, bioinformaticians at CU Anschutz Medical Campus, and CU’s Health Data COMPASS. COLS will establish an informatics group to utilize existing technology and to discover new and innovative mechanisms for analyzing our massive dataset.