Virtual Organizations for Trials and Epidemiological Studies (VOTES)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Unlisted


Our consortium includes clinical trialists and epidemiologists with substantial experience of engaging both patient groups and the general public in their research. In particular, two of the co-applicants will take responsibility for explaining the project to the wider medical, computer science and lay communities.

Technical Summary

Building on our previous experience of developing IT systems for all phases of large-scale clinical trials and observational studies, we now wish to develop a validated Grid-based resource that would provide the necessary infrastructure to facilitate clinical research studies. It is intended that this system would be readily accessible to investigators both in the UK and internationally, and could be tailored rapidly to meet the needs of new studies. We wish to develop a core Grid infrastructure to address three key components of a clinical trial or observational study:
1. Recruitment of potentially eligible participants
2. Data collection during the study
3. Study administration and coordination
Our consortium has the necessary expertise both in coordinating large-scale clinical studies and in e-Science to make this is an achievable aim. The project will be directed by a Steering Committee, supported by a Security Advisory Board, and by an Ethics and Legal Advisory Board. A dedicated development team will include programmers, project managers, and quality assurance staff with complementary experience of e-Science and of developing applications for large-scale clinical studies. In the future, the project will be extended to include facilities for long-term follow-up of study participants, remote statistical analysis of datasets, and endpoint adjudication and coding.


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Brown L (2008) Whose interest? British newspaper reporting of use of medical records for research. in Journal of health services research & policy