Publication date: Dec 01, 2019
A clinical trial protocol defines the procedures that should be performed during a clinical trial. Every clinical trial begins with the design of its protocol. While designing the protocol, most researchers refer to electronic databases and extract protocol elements using a keyword search. However, state-of-the-art retrieval systems only offer text-based searches for user-entered keywords. In this study, we present an interactive retrieval system with a context-dependent and protocol-element-selection function for successfully designing a clinical trial protocol. To do this, we first introduce a database for a protocol retrieval system constructed from individual protocol data extracted from 184,634 clinical trials and 13,210 frame structures of clinical trial protocols. The database contains various semantic information that enables the protocols to be filtered during the search operation. Based on the database, we developed a web application called the clinical trial protocol database system (CLIPS; available at https://corus.kaist.edu/clips), which enables an interactive search by utilizing protocol elements. CLIPS provides the options to select the next element according to the previous element in the form of a connected tree, thus enabling an interactive search for combinations of protocol elements. The validation results show that our method achieves better performance than existing databases in predicting phenotypic features.