It’s been quite a week – we were speaking at the International Open Data Conference in Madrid on Fri 7th, running a Hack Day in Berlin the following day, and then launching OpenTrials beta two days later at the World Health Summit.
Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to give you a brief summary of what we got up to at the Hack Day and also give you some information on the API for those of you who want to play around with the data that powers OpenTrials.
We had a range of people attend our event in Berlin, from researchers, developers, artists, and industry consultants. Some were just interested in the concept of OpenTrials and its ability to improve medicine, but were new to coding, whereas others were seasoned developers used to hacking code and got their teeth straight into our API.
A range of ideas for projects, integrations, and improvements were discussed, including:
- Integrating OpenTrials information into WikiData
- Adding information on R&D costs to intervention pages
- Showing additional summary information in the search results (to avoiding clicking through to a trial’s page)
- Linking more academic publications to clinical trials listed in OpenTrials by searching the full text of journal articles for mentions of clinical trial IDs (we currently only look at the abstracts)
- Creating a two-way lookup table, showing what fields/variables can be expected from each clinical trial registry source
- Adding early FDA approval letters (not available from [email protected]) to drug/intervention pages (subject to an ongoing, lengthy FOIA request)
- Displaying links between conditions, interventions, and trials (see diagram below)
Of particular mention is Matthias Koenig’s hack (see above) – more screenshots and code here.
The conversations of the day generally revolved around medicine, but covered everything from text and data mining, improving research quality, clinical trial transparency, through to open access and open science, We’d love to keep the conversations going, so if you’re inspired to work on something or have already started, please let us know and we’ll make sure to spread the word.
If you’re a developer or data scientist who’s interested in playing with our underlying data, we have an API available (caveat emptor: early version, may change) – here are some documents to get you up to speed with the data:
Update: If you use R, be sure to check out Darko Bergant’s great tutorial – Using OpenTrials API with R
NB. You can download a database dump of OpenTrials here.
We’re also happy to discuss potential collaborations, and ask that if you use our data for academic research, you cite our paper – thanks!