FDA Launches openFDA Initiative to Open Up Data Access
The first data set is for drug-adverse events, with reports submitted from 2004 through 2013 currently available to view.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new initiative from the Office of Informatics and Technology Innovation (OITI) called openFDA, designed to make it easier for developers, researchers and the public to access and use the many large and important health data sets collected by the agency. While this information has always been publicly available, it hasn’t been easy to obtain or search through—something the initiative is designed to change. The openFDA makes the publicly available data accessible in a structured, computer-readable format, providing a search-based application programming interface (API) that makes it possible to find both structured and unstructured content online. "The openFDA Initiative is a new initiative--formally launched with the creation of the Chief Health Informatics Officer (CHIO) and the Office of Informatics and Technology Innovation at the FDA," Taha Kass-Hout, chief health informatics officer of the FDA, told eWEEK. "It reflects FDA's intent to use new technologies and methods to unlock the tremendous publicly available data and resources at the FDA in a user-friendly way for general consumers, researchers and Web developers."
For example, software developers can now build their own applications, such as a mobile phone app or an interactive Website, that can search, query or pull public information and directly from FDA datasets in real time.