Women and Children's Health Research Institute Adds to OpenClinica Software Developer Community

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The Women and Children's Health Research Institute, a collaboration between the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, announces it has joined the OpenClinica open source developer community. The Institute has become an active contributor to the popular open source clinical trials software project.

Akaza Research and the Clinical Research Informatics Core (CRIC) of the Women and Children's Health Research Institute (collaboration between the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services) today announced that CRIC has joined the OpenClinica open source developer community as an active contributor. CRIC has provided software developer expertise and source code contributions which will be part of an upcoming release of OpenClinica. This is one of many recent contributions that mark an expansion of the OpenClinica developer community across the globe.

The objective of the Informatics Core is to support a large number of diverse clinical studies across Canada through a common informatics and human resource infrastructure. "When we started using OpenClinica, we counted on the open source model to provide us with the flexibility to customize the software to meet local requirements," said Dr. Lawrence Richer, a University of Alberta clinical researcher in pediatric neurology. "Working with Akaza Research and the greater OpenClinica community has allowed us to go beyond the vision of developing local enhancements to support Canadian research, and improve the software in ways that will help clinical researchers around the world."

The turning point came when University of Alberta software developer Stephen Walsh attended software developer training at Akaza Research, the provider of commercial training and support to OpenClinica adopters. "The training, together with support from the core development team at Akaza enabled me to develop enhancements in a productive manner and get them easily folded back into the publicly released product", said Walsh. "Now we know that our modifications will still be in the system when we install the upgraded software, and other users will get to benefit from them too. Everyone wins."

"The addition of resources from the University of Alberta is a great example of the power of the open source model" said Cal Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Akaza Research. "When we first started developing OpenClinica, I felt that I had to stand behind the effort and push. Now that OpenClinica is gaining momentum, my job is increasingly to steer."

While the open source approach provides a paramount degree of freedom to adopters of the technology, there is enterprise quality support for those who need it. Since late 2007 Akaza Research has supported the University of Alberta in the areas of training, configuration, maintenance and monitoring, and help desk support for end users and developers.

About the Women and Children's Health Research Institute Clinical Research Informatics Core
As the culmination of a shared vision of the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, WCHRI:

  • Brings together essential funding from the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
  • Attracts new and talented researchers to the Edmonton community
  • Provides a collaborative research environment
  • Strengthens research and teaching, which are critical to future care and treatment
  • Provides the core resources needed to allow the University and Capital Health to have international impact in women and children's health.

The WCHRI offers its members research support, such as a human resource pool including statisticians, clinical trial coordinators and informatics technicians, and research services, such as grant application reviews and grant administration.

The Clinical Research Informatics Core brings together computing science and computing engineering specialists to focus on state of the art informatics technology methods in support of clinical research.

http://www.wchri.med.ualberta.ca/Home/Research/Support/index.cfm#informatics

About OpenClinica®
OpenClinica is open source web-based electronic data capture software for clinical research. It facilitates protocol configuration, design of case report forms, clinical data capture, and study/data management. OpenClinica supports HIPAA and 21 CFR Part 11 guidelines and is designed as a lightweight, standards-based, extensible, and modular platform. All versions of OpenClinica are available for download at http://www.OpenClinica.org.

About Akaza Research®
Akaza Research, the leading provider of open source clinical trial software, is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Akaza has developed and commercialized OpenClinica, the preeminent open source clinical trial data capture and management software platform. Akaza brings Open Source Software (OSS) into the mainstream of the clinical research enterprise by making robust, flexible, standards-based systems accessible for all types of clinical research. Akaza Research provides OpenClinica support, training, and consulting services to its customers worldwide. See http://www.akazaresearch.com.

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Ben Baumann
Akaza Research
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