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Clinical Research Informatics (CRI) is the sub-domain of Biomedical informatics or Medical Informatics concerned with the application of informatics theory and methods to design, conduct and improve clinical research and disseminate the knowledge gained. It overlaps considerably with the related rapidly developing domain of Translational Research Informatics.
Clinical research is defined by the National Institutes of Health  as being comprised of studies and trials in human subjects that fall into the three sub-categories:
(1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Patient-oriented researchincludes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b) therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies.
(2) Epidemiologic and behavioral studies.
(3) Outcomes research and health services research.
Further discussion of this topic and the CRI domain can be found at the Clinical Research Informatics Wiki (CRI Wiki), a wiki devoted to this topic.
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