Vivli to develop Azure-based platform for cloud access to research data

Microsoft's hefty investments in cloud security were a big reason for the partnership, the nonprofit group said.
By Mike Miliard
03:10 PM

Vivli Center for Global Research Data, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit collaborative to facilitate information exchange for clinical research data, will launch a new platform via Microsoft Azure to improve sharing of clinical trial research.

Working with Watertown, Massachusetts-based BlueMetal, a consulting firm focused on technology architecture and design, Vivli officials say the Azure-based platform – with data repository, analysis tools and a dynamic search engine – will help enable easier and more transparent access to worldwide clinical research data.

[Also: Microsoft rolls Office and Windows together, launches Azure Stack hybrid cloud]

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"Our collaboration with Microsoft and BlueMetal brings together long-standing leaders in technology and digital health to transform how clinical trial data is mined to improve human health," said Vivli cofounder Rebecca Li.

She noted that the nonprofit and its partners would continue development of the platform, working toward an official launch in 2018.

Vivli chose Microsoft as a partner with a keen eye toward privacy protections, the group said, encouraged by the Azure platform's scale, flexibility and billion-dollar annual investments.

"Developing effective strategies and platforms for pooling and sharing clinical data is a long-term dream for academia, healthcare organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry," said Kenji Takeda, director at Microsoft Research, in a statement. 

Vivli, Microsoft and BlueMetal aim to improve how researchers approach analysis of clinical trial datasets. They'll start by focusing on addressing the specific data sharing hurdles, aiming for what they call a "one-stop-shop" platform to aggregate research studies with searchability and other analytics tools.

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