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International Clinical Trials

Strength through Collaboration

For many years, governing bodies in the UK were unable to accurately determine the level and contribution of clinical research. However, it now seems that a fresh approach to tackling this issue is yielding results and providing evidence of how collaboration is driving the clinical research agenda forward.

Over the past 10 years, medical research has seen the introduction of a number of new compliance and regulatory policies. Fundamentally, these have been based on ensuring the quality and delivery of clinical and medical research but, ultimately, they serve as the cornerstone for patients’ safety and the protection of research participants from ethical issues.

Sharing Knowledge

Historically, however, there has been a mentality that research is conducted in ‘siloes’, which has hindered the progress for drug and healthcare innovation. The performance of a research environment cannot improve or be maintained via the dated spreadsheet and paper systems that are in place. This way, clinical trial data are either not shared, or shared in ways that do not support learning. Why? Because the data are generally collected in a variety of formats that will not allow them to ‘talk’. This practice of ‘siloed research’ is a disease in itself, leading to redundancies, dead ends, the loss of valuable time and billions of dollars. Most tragically, when data do not talk, we lose our patients.

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James Batchelor is Director of the Clinical Informatics Research Unit at the University of Southampton, UK, and is a professorial fellow of clinical informatics and healthcare innovation. About 15 years ago, he developed EDGE, a local portfolio management system that is now adopted across 80% of the NHS. James is also a Committee member and advisor to the Republic of Ireland e-Health Programme, as well as being involved in the development of clinical research standards with the University of Cologne, Germany, and within the CDISC. He has worked in this area of research for over 15 years and is well known within the research community, both in the UK and overseas, for his practical solutions to clinical informatics.
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James Batchelor
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