Overview

Information Management Services, Inc. (IMS) has 40 plus years of information technology and clinical trials experience. We currently employ a team of 200 computer and biomedical professionals dedicated to providing clients with quality customer support. We offer premium services at competitive prices. In addition, IMS services are available under the following government funding mechanisms:

We are located in the Washington Metropolitan Area with offices in Rockville and Calverton, Maryland. Our long-term clients include: the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, and other biomedical research organizations.

Analytic Services and Data Management

IMS provides a variety of statistical programming and IT support services for biomedical research. Our employees are organized into small teams that work directly with researchers and biostatisticians to manage and analyze their biomedical research data. This team based approach enables IMS to respond quickly and efficiently to the specific requirements of our clients.

IMS develops programs in SAS, R, and other statistical languages to analyze data for all types of biomedical research. Examples of data types that IMS has analyzed are from research areas such as clinical trials, prevention studies, epidemiologic studies, utilization rates for cancer screening, cancer prevalence rates, and genomic research data.

IMS has 40 plus years of experience in applying commercial and open-source software tools in addition to IMS’s own proprietary software in support of hundreds of clinical research studies and statistical research projects. This experience enables our staff to conduct analyses with only general guidance from the client, or alternatively, to provide useful input to the client as to the needs and issues that arise in biomedical research studies. IMS also develops state-of-the-art methods and software for the analysis of cancer statistics. Examples include:

  • Modeling effects of cancer control activities.
  • Analyzing survival and disease-free intervals in clinical studies.
  • Monitoring cancer screening behaviors.
  • Developing analytic approaches for cancer incidence, survival, and mortality statistics.
  • Performing statistical analysis and developing statistical methodologies using a variety of languages including SAS, R, and SPlus.

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Application Development

IMS develops applications that range from small systems to complex n-tiered, mission critical systems in a validated environment. In the design and development of new systems, IMS utilizes both emerging and established technologies to provide efficient solutions to complex problems. IMS emphasizes understanding the user’s requirements. We explore and refine these requirements through an iterative and collaborative process. IMS applications are designed with intuitive user interfaces in order to minimize the need for training and support.

IMS designs and develops systems in a variety of languages including Java, J2EE, PHP, Python, and C/C++. These systems are implemented and hosted on a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac O/S, Mobile devices, and mainframes. Our staff has extensive expertise using databases such as Postgres, Oracle, Sybase, and Access. IMS also utilizes a wide variety of open-source software, such as Java, Apache Tomcat, Linux, J2EE, JBoss, Django, and PostgreSQL. Read a description of IMS’s commercial products.

In addition, IMS has experience in 21 CFR Part 11 software validation and Section 508 accessibility regulations. All software is developed following the NIST security implementation guidelines.

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Web Services

IMS has developed and currently maintains a variety of websites and Web-based applications. These sites range from a single page to highly complex information systems. Examples of websites implemented by IMS include:

  • Interactive systems to query cancer statistics: SEER
  • A Web-based questionnaire to collect data for national studies: Information, Demo Site
  • Multiple sites utilized by research groups to facilitate collaboration with other researchers: Article (PDF)
  • Standard websites: DCP, EGRP

IMS staff possess a thorough understanding of website design and implementation. We assist the client in establishing goals and requirements. We can advise the client on applicable regulations and design constraints such as patient confidentiality and Section 508 compliance. Once design has been completed and documented, IMS provides full implementation capabilities and hosting.. We have an experienced staff of Web designers, creative graphic artists and Web implementers.

The IMS Web team develops Web applications utilizing a variety of tools which include JavaScript, PHP, XML, Postgres, and Oracle. We also integrate open-source and commercial products into our websites. Examples include Zope and Plone for content management, Corda for interactive charts and graphs, and Arcinfo for geographic information systems.

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Cloud Computing and Hosting Support

IMS provides systems administration and management of a cloud computing infrastructure for the health IT field. IMS's computing resources are maintained and operated within two separate co-location data centers. Both of these data centers are used by IMS in order to provide 24/7 availability of all IMS's and our clients' mission-critical applications. These facilities both provide hardened structures with backup generators, redundant Internet connectivity, redundant cooling systems, video surveillance, fire detection/suppression, and 24/7 manned security/technical staff. Access to these facilities is only granted to those with prior documented approval. For those approved, access then requires a government-issued picture ID, biometric hand scan, and escort by a security officer. IMS also has an approved IT System Security Plan for these facilities which meets the OMB Circular A-130 guidelines and the NIST guidelines for FISMA IT system security at the moderate level.

The computer resources provide analytic processing, client/server applications, Web server applications, and file transfer options in a secure, firewall-protected environment. The resources are configured as a networked system of computers where services and resources are distributed across multiple specialized servers. Redundancy is designed and built into the systems for all mission-critical services and components. The IMS computer center is totally scalable and provides a centralized computer resource in the cloud to meet our client's requirements. The computing environment supports Linux, Windows, and VMWare. The objective is to provide a highly reliable environment that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These computer facilities have an uptime record above 99.5%.

IMS designed and built a process where data are continually mirrored from one co-location facility to the other. Back-up copies of databases and computer programs are also made at regular intervals to protect against destruction from problems such as error, fire, catastrophe, and computer failure. Daily backup copies of the databases are created and securely stored at our second co-location facility. In addition, all databases and data systems are backed up on encrypted media. NetApp S-Series DataFort encryption appliances are utilized for FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified compliant encryption of the backup media. In the unlikely event that one of the data centers were destroyed, data would already be in other facility, ready to resume operations.

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Clinical Trial Support

IMS provides a full range of services to support biomedical research ideas from inception through implementation and into publication. The IMS team approach provides flexibility and rapid deployment for full study management or for specific tasks.

Clinical trials and biomedical research projects are diverse. Our staff has successfully supported numerous project types. Examples are:

  • Clinical trials - pharmaceutical, device, and vaccine
  • Early disease detection projects
  • Health survey processing
  • Epidemiological data collections

IMS biomedical research staff and statisticians work closely with investigators and site staff to develop study protocols, manuals and data collection instruments. Assistance in regulatory compliance is provided. Our biomedical editors review and code clinical and other research data. They interact with site research staff frequently to confirm patient eligibility, provide randomized treatment assignments and answer questions on protocol procedures. They ensure data of the highest quality through query and error resolution. IMS staff may travel to the research centers to provide training or to monitor study progress.

IMS provides assistance in data analysis and preparation of data displays for publication. We collaborate with manuscript authors in the writing and submission of papers. IMS staff have co-authored hundreds of scientific publications.

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