Development of a real-world database for asthma and COPD: The SingHealth-Duke-NUS-GSK COPD and Asthma Real-World Evidence (SDG-CARE) collaboration.



The SingHealth-Duke-GlaxoSmithKline COPD and Asthma Real-world Evidence (SDG-CARE) collaboration was formed to accelerate the use of Singaporean real-world evidence in research and clinical care. A centerpiece of the collaboration was to develop a near real-time database from clinical and operational data sources to inform healthcare decision making and research studies on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Our multidisciplinary team, including clinicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, medical informaticians and IT engineers, adopted the hybrid waterfall-agile project management methodology to develop the SingHealth COPD and Asthma Data Mart (SCDM). The SCDM was developed within the organizational data warehouse. It pulls and maps data from various information systems using extract, transform and load (ETL) pipelines. Robust user testing and data verification was also performed to ensure that the business requirements were met and that the ETL pipelines were valid.


The SCDM includes 199 data elements relevant to asthma and COPD. Data verification was performed and found the SCDM to be reliable. As of December 31, 2019, the SCDM contained 36,407 unique patients with asthma and COPD across the spectrum from primary to tertiary care in our healthcare system. The database updates weekly to add new data of existing patients and to include new patients who fulfil the inclusion criteria.


The SCDM was systematically developed and tested to support the use RWD for clinical and health services research in asthma and COPD. This can serve as a platform to provide research and operational insights to improve the care delivered to our patients.





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Publication Info

Lam, Sean Shao Wei, Andrew Hao Sen Fang, Mariko Siyue Koh, Sumitra Shantakumar, See-Hwee Yeo, David Bruce Matchar, Marcus Eng Hock Ong, Ken Mei Ting Poon, et al. (2023). Development of a real-world database for asthma and COPD: The SingHealth-Duke-NUS-GSK COPD and Asthma Real-World Evidence (SDG-CARE) collaboration. BMC medical informatics and decision making, 23(1). p. 4. 10.1186/s12911-022-02071-6 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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