Oracle takes on translational research hurdles

Electronic health records contain lots of data on patents and their disease states, yet bringing that information into the hands of drug researchers has been a big challenge. Oracle ($ORCL) is taking a stab at the problem with a new product to make health data accessible for researchers and clinicians.

The software, called Oracle Health Sciences Translational Research Center, is designed to help drug developers tap health data from both their own data warehouses and external ones. Using the products analytics tool, researches can mine vast amounts of patient data for new biomarkers of disease and patterns that shed light on the safest and most effective ways to treat patients, according to Oracle. The product is built on the company's previous healthcare systems Oracle Healthcare Data Warehouse Foundation and Oracle Health Sciences Clinical Development Center. And the first version of the new product will focus on aggregating and analyzing data from electronic health records.

"Oracle Health Sciences Translational Research Center will support health sciences organizations, like the Knight Cancer Institute, as we collectively work to ensure that the patient remains at the center of research and care," Dr. Brian Druker, M.D., director of the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, said in a statement. "The ability to aggregate data, normalize it, and most importantly, effectively analyze it to yield previously unavailable insight is essential."

Oracle consulted OHSU, Merck ($MRK), Roche and other major clinical researchers during the development of the software. The release of the product comes as Oracle, Johnson & Johnson, Quintiles and many other groups collaborate on the Partnerships to Advance Clinical Electronic Research (PACeR), which has announced plans to spearhead a pilot project in New York to demonstrate the use of an electronic clinical research data network to support clinical studies.

- here's Oracle's release