Open Data Critical to Clinical Research

July 30, 2019 – In a recent Perspective piece, the DCRI’s Frank Rockhold, PhD, outlines why data sharing is so important to the future of clinical research and shares suggestions for making the process more efficient.

Data sharing, especially at the individual patient level, is an integral component of enabling future research and improving patient care, according to a Perspective piece from the DCRI’s Frank Rockhold, PhD, (pictured)recently published in Clinical Trials.

The paper, which contains input from three contributors in addition to Rockhold, gives an overview of the current state of open data and data sharing and features strengths and weakness of current data access platforms. It also reviews successful examples of data sharing and makes suggestions about how to improve and streamline data sharing moving forward.

Data sharing has many benefits, including avoiding redundancy and duplicated efforts and encouraging collaboration. However, constraints also exist, such as confidentiality concerns and lack of time and resources.

“There are hurdles to clear, but the question at the center of the open discussion should not be whether data should be shared, but rather how and when responsible methods for doing so can be ushered in,” the writers note.

The future of data sharing lies in the hands of those involved in clinical research, Rockhold writes after laying out five suggested guidelines for data sharing and encouraging patient involvement and protection of patient rights.

“We believe the clinical research enterprise needs to come together to build on what exists and create a simpler model for truly open and responsible clinical trial data sharing,” he writes.