With data as complex as those produced by clinical trials, standardization is needed upfront, added Cantor. But which standards should be used and how should they be implemented? Political will is needed to enforce standards—for example, by using the funding process to encourage standardization. Standards make it much easier to overcome the technical hurdles to broad-based cooperative projects, but people and institutions need the right incentives to contribute their data. As detailed in the next chapter, the social and cultural aspects of sharing clinical data are much more challenging than the technical issues.



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