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A prototype database platform for integrating and sharing biomechanics datasets relating to knee osteoarthritis

Elliott, Mark, Rodrigues, Rui, Hamilton, Rebecca, Postans, Neil, Metcalfe, Andy, Jones, Richard, McGregor, Alison, Arvanitis, Theodoros and Holt, Catherine ORCID: 2023. A prototype database platform for integrating and sharing biomechanics datasets relating to knee osteoarthritis. Presented at: British Orthopaedic Research Society 2023 (hosted Cambridge, England, 25026 September 2023), 25-26 September 2023. Orthopaedic Proceedings , vol.105-B (Supp 1) p. 34. 10.1302/1358-992X.2023.16.034

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Objectives Biomechanics is an essential form of measurement in the understanding of the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). However, the number of participants in biomechanical studies are often small and there is limited ways to share or combine data from across institutions or studies. This is essential for applying modern machine learning methods, where large, complex datasets can be used to identify patterns in the data. Using these data-driven approaches, it could be possible to better predict the optimal interventions for patients at an early stage, potentially avoiding pain and inappropriate surgery or rehabilitation. In this project we developed a prototype database platform for combining and sharing biomechanics datasets. The database includes methods for importing and standardising data and associated variables, to create a seamless, searchable combined dataset of both healthy and knee OA biomechanics. Methods Data was curated through calls to members of the OATech Network+ ( The requirements were 3D motion capture data from previous studies that related to analysing the biomechanics of knee OA, including participants with OA at any stage of progression plus healthy controls. As a minimum we required kinematic data of the lower limbs, plus associated kinetic data (i.e. ground reaction forces). Any additional, complementary data such as EMG could also be provided. Relevant ethical approvals had to be in place that allowed re-use of the data for other research purposes. The datasets were uploaded to a University hosted cloud platform. The database platform was developed using Javascript and hosted on a Windows server, located and managed within the department. Results Three independent datasets were curated following the call to OATech Network+ members. These originated from separate studies collected from biomechanics labs at Cardiff University, Keele University, and Imperial College London. Participants with knee OA were at various stages of progression and all datasets included healthy controls. The total sample size of the three datasets is n=244, split approximately equally between healthy and knee OA participants. Naming conventions and formatting of the exported data varied greatly across datasets. Datasets were therefore formatted into a common format prior to upload, with guidelines developed for future contributions. Uploading data at the marker set level was too complicated for combination at the prototype stage. Therefore, processed variables relating to joint angles and joint moments were used. The resulting prototype database included an import function to align and standardise variables. A a simple query tool was further developed to extract outputs from the database, along with a suitable user interface for basic data exploration. Conclusion Combining biomechanics dataset presents a wide range of challenges from both a technical and data governance context. Here we have taken the first steps to demonstrate a proof-of-concept that can combine heterogenous data from independent OA-related biomechanics studies into a combined, searchable resource. Expanding this in the future to a fully open access database will create an essential resource that will facilitate the application of data-driven models and analyses for better understanding, stratification and prediction of OA progression.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Funders: EPSRC
Date of Acceptance: 17 November 2023
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 17:00

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