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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2014, Volume 8, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11684-014-0370-y

Clinical research of traditional Chinese medicine in big data era

1. Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 210029, China.

2. China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China

Available online:2014-10-09

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With the advent of big data era, our thinking, technology and methodology are being transformed. Data-intensive scientific discovery based on big data, named “The Fourth Paradigm,” has become a new paradigm of scientific research. Along with the development and application of the Internet information technology in the field of healthcare, individual health records, clinical data of diagnosis and treatment, and genomic data have been accumulated dramatically, which generates big data in medical field for clinical research and assessment. With the support of big data, the defects and weakness may be overcome in the methodology of the conventional clinical evaluation based on sampling. Our research target shifts from the “causality inference” to “correlativity analysis.” This not only facilitates the evaluation of individualized treatment, disease prediction, prevention and prognosis, but also is suitable for the practice of preventive healthcare and symptom pattern differentiation for treatment in terms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and for the post-marketing evaluation of Chinese patent medicines. To conduct clinical studies involved in big data in TCM domain, top level design is needed and should be performed orderly. The fundamental construction and innovation studies should be strengthened in the sections of data platform creation, data analysis technology and big-data professionals fostering and training.

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