‘Cloud computing’ and clinical trials: report from an ECRIN workshop
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Abstract Growing use of cloud computing in clinical trials prompted the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network, a European non-profit organisation established to support multinational clinical research, to organise a one-day workshop on the topic to clarify potential benefits and risks. The issues that arose in that workshop are summarised and include the following: the nature of cloud computing and the cloud computing industry; the risks in using cloud computing services now; the lack of explicit guidance on this subject, both generally and with reference to clinical trials; and some possible ways of reducing risks. There was particular interest in developing and using a European ‘community cloud’ specifically for academic clinical trial data. It was recognised that the day-long workshop was only the start of an ongoing process. Future discussion needs to include clarification of trial-specific regulatory requirements for cloud computing and involve representatives from the relevant regulatory bodies.