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Duke And SAS Open Giant Database To Fight Heart Disease

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A new collaboration between SAS and the Duke Clinical Research Institute will provide researchers from around the world with an enormous database of patients who have suffered from heart disease.

Matt Gross is Director of Health and Life Sciences Global Practice at SAS.  He says the database is the largest cardiovascular database around and will eventually help find new ways to treat heart disease.

Gross says the de-identified cardiovascular patient information was collected by the Duke University Health System.

“It’s the largest cardiovascular database set out there, spans 45 years, has 50,000 patients, and 100,000 procedures," said Gross.

Gross says they will work with both the pharmaceutical industry and the health care industry to figure out the best process to make sure the data is open and available.

“So we actually provide a secure way for all these sponsors of clinical research to make their data available to the public," said Gross. 

"Then SAS is actually providing the research tools, SAS Analytics, within the environment so that researchers who request to have this data cannot only have access to the data but the tools to analyze it.”

This is one of the first examples of academic leaders opening their clinical research data to others.

Dr. Eric Peterson is the Executive Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).  He said in a statement, "The question at the center of the open-science discussion is not whether data should be shared, but how we can usher in responsible methods for doing so."

"Our collaboration with SAS will allow data to be shared for the advancement of public health worldwide," said Peterson.

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
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