Technology company Clinovo develops open source software for the highly regulated clinical research industry. This new solution is becoming a legitimate and viable alternative to commercial solutions, and might help shape the future of the healthcare industry.

Open source software is a viable model for the healthcare industry


Before ending up on the shelf of your pharmacy, medical treatments and drugs have to undergo clinical trials - a set of procedures meant to test their efficacy and safety. A typical trial entails testing a new drug on a group of patients and comparing the results with a group of patients who did not receive the treatment. For over 10 years, information technology has been used to collect, analyze, process the data collected, and convert it to the FDA standards. However, the software traditionally used is proprietary, expensive,  and lacks flexibility, as Clinovo CTO Marc Desgrousilliers tells l’Atelier. With regulatory measures becoming stricter than ever, proprietary software just doesn't meet the needs of clinical trials companies and service providers anymore, Marc says.

Clinovo develops an open source alternative to commercial solutions...

This is why Clinovo decided to leverage open source technologies to provide better clinical data management solutions to the healthcare industry. ClinCapture – Clinovo’s electronic data capture system (EDC) – is open source software that Clinovo modified in order to meet the FDA standards and regulations. “Open source technology allows us to provide much cheaper, and more flexible software to our clients,” Marc Desgrousilliers explains. “Our code is free, and we monetize our business with other services, such as high level studies.” Marc believes an open source solution like Clinovo's is a legitimate and viable alternative to traditional proprietary software.

...And acts as an interface between the healthcare and open source worlds

Aside from being cheaper and more flexible, open source software is by essence the result of a collaborative work, and therefore more likely to be innovative. “We have our own teams who work on the code, as well as developers from all over the world, who contribute freely for the sake of improving the code and contributing to innovation” Desgrousilliers clarifies. In other words, Clinovo has positioned itself as an interface between the clinical research industry and the open source community. Open source expert Ismael Ghalimi tells us “Clinovo is one of the only examples I think of, of a company that develops a B2B software with an open source business model.”

By Alice Gillet
English editorial manager