The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking at researchers, clinicians, and patients as vital sources to enhance the quality of data available to President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative to combat cancer, an NIH official explained today.

At the AWS Summit event in Washington on June 7, Jeff Shilling, staff scientist for the CIO/ associate director for Infrastructure and IT Operations at NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), talked about how those groups can help the program develop and make vital data more easily accessible.

“[What] we have to really do is educate the people who need to use the data,” Shilling said. “It used to be just researchers [who] did it, and now we need clinicians to do it more. And… we really want to have people do it,” he said.

Another key issue that NIH is looking to overcome in the research to end cancer is putting together many federated data sets to make it easier for researchers to get the data they need on cancer patients. “A big focus that we’re working on right now … is basically creating user interfaces” as part of that effort, he said.

While NIH and other agencies have been making progress in advancing research to lower cancer mortality, Shilling said the project has also shown that the agency was not utilizing all of the tools at its disposal to achieve maximum data standardization and protections. and that steps are now being taken to maximize that potential.

“A big part of what we’re really trying to do is to make sure that we build the infrastructure in such a way that it is kind of self-contained in terms of its ability to protect the data,” he said.

Read More About
More Topics
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.