NIH releases final draft of its data science strategy: 3 things to know

The National Institutes of Health released a final draft of its "strategic plan for data science" June 4.

The report outlines the NIH's five-year plan to modernize its research programs in preparation for the rapidly increasing amount of biomedical data collected by researchers, including information from clinical studies, EHRs, next-generation sequencing and wearables.

Here are three things to know about the agency's data science plan:

1. The NIH's approach centers on moving toward a common architecture, infrastructure and set of tools for data science. The strategic plan also commits to ensuring all activities related to the agency's biomedical research data adhere to "FAIR" principles — meaning the data should be "Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable."

2. The five-year plan rests on five overarching goals:

  • Support a highly efficient and effective biomedical research data infrastructure
  • Promote modernization of the data-resources ecosystem
  • Support the development and dissemination of advanced data management, analytics and visualization tools
  • Enhance workforce development for biomedical data science
  • Enact policies to promote data stewardship and sustainability

3. In the report, the NIH writes, "With publication of the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science, NIH aims to maximize the value of data generated through NIH-funded efforts to enable biomedical discovery and innovation. Doing so is critical for keeping the United States at the forefront of biomedical research, ensuring continued advances toward improving the nation's health."

To access the NIH's data science plan, click here.

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