Since last year Open Knowledge has been developing OpenTrials, an open, online database linking the publicly available data and documents on all clinical trials conducted – something that has been talked about for many years but never created. The project is funded by The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre, an internationally known leader on clinical trial transparency. Having an open and freely re-usable database of the world’s clinical trial data will increase discoverability, facilitate research, identify inconsistent data, enable audits on the availability and completeness of this information, support advocacy for better data, and drive standards around open data in evidence-based medicine.
The project is currently in its first phase (which runs until March 2017), where the focus is on building and populating the first prototype of the OpenTrials database, as well as raising awareness of the project in the community and getting user involvement and feedback. The progress that has been made so far was presented last month at the Evidence Live conference in Oxford, which brought together leaders across the world of Evidence Based Medicine, including researchers, doctors, and the pharmaceutical industry. This was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the project and speak to both researchers who want to use the platform as well as people with a general enthusiasm for its impact on medicine.
Around 40 people attended our talk which explained why OpenTrials is an important infrastructure project for medicine, covered some of the technical aspects of the platform, details of what data we’ve imported so far, and lastly a quick demo.
If you’re feeling impatient, here are the slides from the talk, or scroll down for a summary.
What we’ve imported into the OpenTrials database so far
- ~22,000 research summaries from the Health Research Authority
- ~510,000 publications from PubMed (~24,000 linked with trials)
- Basic search (by keyword)
- Searching for trials with publications
- Uploading missing data/documents for a particular trial
- Showing trials with discrepancies (e.g. target sample size)
What we’re importing next
- Systematic Reviews from:
- Clinical Study Report Synopses (e.g. YODA)
- Cochrane Schizophrenia data
- FDA Drug Approval Packages – OpenTrialsFDA won $80,000 to develop prototype to unlock ‘hidden’ data in non-searchable PDFs
Feedback and get involved
Want to get early access to the data and be a user tester? Sign up and we’ll be in touch soon.