In our first full year of existence we’ve grown fast, recruiting lots of new staff. You can see us all on our new website: Lydia our project manager started in the Spring, as did Seb, our new coder; Lisa, our community engagement manager, started over the summer; Helen, our new researcher, started in December, with two more researchers starting in January. For our OpenPrescribing work we’ve been joined by Richard as our pharmaceutical advisor. We’ve also been lucky enough to pull in a huge team of excellent students including Jess, Sarah, Mark, and the mighty COMPare project team of Henry, Aaron, Ioan, Philip, and Eirion. We’ve now delivered some of our early projects, and have a nice portfolio of papers submitted already.
We’ve helped the NHS find millions of pounds of prescribing savings by adding new measures to OpenPrescribing. In December we launched our new alerts tool, which means people can now sign up to receive tailored monthly e-mail alerts for any CCG or GP Practice in England. These alerts make the data come to life: instead of waiting for you to visit the site, the data can reach out and tap you on the shoulder whenever there is a new signal suggesting there might be prescribing issues in the practice or CCG you’re interested in. We’ve also developed a lot of new prescribing measures, but with a drumroll, we’re extremely excited about our range of entirely new analytic approaches to the data, which we’ll be launching onto the site (and in a paper) over the next couple of months.
This was our innovative project to monitor and correct misreported trials in the leading academic journals, as they were published, in order to explore the reasons for such misreporting. It has delivered fascinating results: you can read more from Ben in Nature, or browse all the data and correspondence at the project website COMPare-trials.org. Our two papers on the project are submitted, and it will be interesting to see how editors approach them. Stay tuned for COMPare II and COMPare III in 2017!
The beta version of OpenTrials was launched in October at the World Health Summit: this is a collaborative and open linked database for all available structured data and documents on all clinical trials, threaded together by individual trial, built with the open data thinktank Open Knowledge. You can read the paper, or play with the early release of the tool. We also launched the early beta version of our new OpenTrialsFDA which finally makes all FDA approval documents indexed and searchable.
In November we launched a new automated clinical trials tracker which aims to monitor which companies and universities are the worst for failing to publish their clinical trial results. Along with COMPare and OpenPrescribing, this is another project to audit performance, and give useful feedback to clinicians or researchers where they are potentially falling short of best practice. We estimate that 8.7 million patients were enrolled in the 11,714 trials identified by the tracker as missing results. You can explore the data on the tracker here, and read our paper here. We have another tracker being submitted for publication this week, which will be unveiled very soon, and some more in development for mid 2017!
There’s lots more to come, and lots more to do. If you’d like to work with us, or have feedback on any of our work, get in touch!