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Medidata Symposium — Thought Leaders and Industry Peers Come Together to Engage, Collaborate and Innovate

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I recently attended the European Medidata User Group (E-MUG) 2013 meeting, in Florence, and am looking forward to this year’s reinvented annual meeting in San Francisco, April 23-25, renamed the Medidata Symposium 2014 – Americas. Over the years, I’ve appreciated the efforts that Medidata has made to bring the user community together, to a degree which I have not seen from other technology and service organizations in our industry. It is a great opportunity to reunite with former colleagues and make new connections with professionals from pharma, biotech, academia, contract research organizations (CROs) and other technology providers, while sharing experiences and generating new ideas about clinical trial conduct. I have observed Medidata staff, at all levels, actively engaging the community, during the daytime sessions and evenings, seeking feedback and discussing ideas for innovation and further partnership. This year’s event will include not one, but two keynote speakers, in addition to Glen de Vries, president of Medidata Solutions. Their presentations and panel discussions promise to be thought-provoking and forward thinking. The speakers include Daniel Kraft, renowned inventor, entrepreneur and physician-scientist, along with Christine Pierre, founder and CEO of RXTrials, Inc. and founder and president of the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS). As the Medidata Symposium organizing committee has been planning for this event, I’ve been reminding my coworkers that it's not just about EDC anymore. The tracks now include focus on study design, clinical finance, data management and IT, as well as site management and monitoring. The event is also becoming more focused on the questions and challenges we are facing in the industry, rather than simply highlighting Medidata technology solutions—although there will be plenty of information shared about highly anticipated advances in the Medidata Clinical Cloud. Participants will present on substantial issues and discussion panels will be facilitated, covering topics such as “How do we design trials that meet the regulatory requirements for our indication while ensuring that we are collecting the right information?” or “How are others leveraging technology to gain more information about clinical site performance, and using that knowledge to adjust monitoring activities?” This year’s agenda promises to generate fruitful discussions across many disciplines. The new name seems appropriate to me; it reflects the many innovative presentations and discussions that take place at the conference, while harkening back to the original Greek meaning of the term “Symposium” (a convivial meeting in a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere, prompting further intellectual discussion). You will find this to be the case during the evening events, which provide a chance to further engage industry colleagues and Medidata product managers in an informal setting. Oftentimes, the cocktail hour and dinner receptions have been where I’ve met the most people and generated the most new ideas to address the challenges our team has been facing, while discovering a great deal about industry trends and best practices. I hope to see you at the event, and that you will be an active participant, as I plan to be. *Guest Blogger Jason Carlson is a director in the Biometrics department at Gilead Sciences, responsible for quality, efficiency, standards, systems and training, while collaborating heavily with clinical operations, drug safety, regulatory, finance, and IT colleagues. He was formerly the head of the clinical data management and EDC programming department at Gilead, and has been working with Medidata since 2005, during his tenure at CV Therapeutics, as well as Gilead. You can reach Jason by email *Join the Medidata Symposium conversation on Twitter (@Medidata, #MedidataSym)

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