Community Survey - Share your input for TARA (Topological Atlas and Repository for Acupoint Research)

The Topological Atlas and Repository for Acupoint Research (TARA) is a 5-year NIH-initiated project which will result in a new comprehensive resource for the acupuncture research and clinician community. 

TARA will be an open-access (i.e. free), web-based portal, and database incorporating (1) an acupoint ontology using both Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) and conventional biological nomenclature systems; (2) male and female human and rat body atlases, each with a standardized 3D coordinate system; and (3) a searchable database of acupoint information along with previously published physiological data, curated by an expert committee, associated with acupoint stimulation.

Imagine viewing an online 3-D body image with labeled acupoints that you can click on linking to high-quality associated research, along with anatomical structures underneath the skin, in and around each acupoint. And imagine a database you could query to find research associated with various acupoints related to specific conditions.

We need YOUR input to ensure TARA best serves the acupuncture research and clinician community. Imagining how TARA would be used by end-users is a critical initial step in its design. Once we have a more detailed idea about how it will be queried when launched, we can design TARA to ensure that this web-based platform best meets those requirements.

This survey was designed to suit that purpose of collecting example queries to a TARA search tool. Here are a handful of example queries we have already collected from the TARA team to give an idea of the types of queries an end user (you) might ask of TARA once it is designed:

  • What is the anatomy around (maybe within a certain distance) acupoint “X”?
  • What research is connected to acupoint “X”?
  • Which acupoints are most commonly combined and used to treat “Y” condition/symptom?
  • What conditions has acupoint “X” been used to treat?
  • Which internal organs/body parts are connected to treatment protocols using acupoint “X”?
  • Are there any research studies about condition “Y” related to acupoint “X”?
  • Which animal studies use acupoint “X”?
  • What is the common treatment protocol when using acupoint “X” to treat condition “Y”? (i.e. We would be looking to find out from the studies: How deep is the needle inserted? At which angle is the needle placed? What frequency of treatment is used? How long should treatment last to reach a desired effect?)

The “X” and “Y” variables could be used for ANY acupoint or condition.

After reading this list, what OTHER types of queries can you think of that you might ask TARA once it launches?  Please use the survey link below to share your example queries, as well as any other thoughts and ideas.