IBM, others herd trial data to cloud

The use of cloud computing for clinical data analysis appears to be catching on, says Patricia Dimond, a principal at BioInsight Consulting, in GEN. But some of the remaining tech hurdles--data security not least among them--are keeping prospective users at bay, and some technologists still see use of the cloud off in the future of clinical trial IT.

Among current providers of cloud services for clinical trials is IBM, whose Clinical Cloud offering combines multitenant security and the infrastructure to create an environment where partners can collaborate, according to the article. The service provides process integration and orchestration, a clinical application suite, compliance, analytics and collaboration capabilities as well as data and file sharing.

Another provider of cloud-based trial services is Wipro Technologies, with its clinical collaboration portal for developers, CROs, sites and regulators. And PharmaPros offers Dataflow Manager, which provides data streaming from such sources as interactive voice response systems, EDC, ePRO and lab, imaging and safety signaling systems.

The challenge becomes viewing clinical trial data "holistically," the article says, and in time to make critical decisions.

Others see more basic challenges in use of the cloud for clinical trial data processes. Mika Nuutilainen, director, product development at CRF Health, says in the article that methods of clinical trial data management systems are still primarily traditional and highly focused on hardware units and their locations. Nuutilainen anticipates use of private clouds--dedicated server environment boosted with automatic management software--and community clouds, "if clinical companies can cooperate that much and there is a technology-oriented company driving the development."

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