CTSI Ramping up Efforts to Support Clinical Trials of the Future

woman_with_crystal_bal_450A patient with Parkinson’s disease goes out for a walk, and his mobile phone transmits his heart rate, his movement speed, how far he walks, how much he sweats, and when he stops.

Doctors on the other end analyze the data, comparing notes and symptoms with those of other patients in real time.

And the research subjects almost never need to set foot in a clinical research facility.

“This is where we’re going with clinical trials,” said Karl Kieburtz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. “And that suggests we’re going to have to develop methodologies to handle all that data.”

Kieburtz, who spoke on clinical trials at the June MEDSAC meeting, outlined the ways that the CTSI is working to build an infrastructure to handle the wealth of information generated by these trials of the future.

Earlier this year, the CTSI brought aboard Tim Dye, Ph.D., to lead the institute’s biomedical informatics work. More recently, informaticist Jack Chang was hired to help the CTSI and the informatics team create tools that will better enable researchers to access novel datasets.

In the more immediate future is a pilot program to create a more streamlined process on the front end.

“Right now you have to send your research study everywhere – to the IRB, to ORPA, to ORACS,” said Kieburtz. “We’re creating a single portal for all the information you need to have, and need to provide.”

Clinical trials represent the smallest of the CTSI’s six pillars, in terms of budget. But it’s an area that could grow quickly, as mobile phone technology and real time data starts to replace the brick and mortar clinical research centers used today.

Read more about the CTSI’s six pillars in this Q&A with Karl Kieburtz.

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