I know the title is the obvious cliché, but I had to do it. Sometimes things are obvious for a reason.

I’ve just finished putting together my SOT/ToxExpo presentation and I’m still lamenting the fact that it’s virtual again this year. Anyway, as I alluded to in my previous blog post, this year’s presentation looks at both where we are today, and where we might be going tomorrow with SEND. I’m convinced that Visualization is key to that conversation.

It’s at this point I’m reminded of an experience at SOT a couple of years ago where we were demonstrating our own visualization solution known as, SEND Explorer® to someone who previously, had to draw their conclusions using only the PDF tables. The individual was shown all manner of graphs, charts and other visualizations and the demonstrator was able to dynamically drill into the results as the person was asking questions of the data.

They were getting more and more engaged and enthusiastic as they were seeing the speed and ease at which the demonstrator was able to bring up data, customize how it was viewed and perform various on-screen comparisons.

Yes, of course nonclinical data has been displayed in graphical form before. I’m not suggesting that this is all due to the advent of SEND, but SEND does change the landscape because the data are standardized. It’s this standardization which has paved the way for commercial off-the-shelf tools to be developed which can work with data regardless of the CRO responsible for running the study; regardless of the Data Collection system used for capturing the data.

Also, the introduction of services to convert historic study data to SEND, often locked away in old PDFs, has opened new possibilities for accessing value found in those old studies. Legacy conversions like this then provide visualization tools like SEND Explorer, with a wealth of study information to work with.

This has got me wondering: How long until this becomes just the run of the mill way of analyzing nonclinical data? How long until SEND simply replaces the PDF appendices in the study report? Back when SEND was first being introduced, that seemed to be the logical assumption for the next significant step. One day, there won’t even be PDF appendices.

That’s an idea I’ve been thinking about a lot. There are very good reasons why that won’t happen in the near term, but I think that there are ways to overcome these roadblocks. I think that will have to be the topic for a separate blog post….

For today, I’m really pleased whenever I get to see people getting excited about discovering the potential for working with visualizations of standardized nonclinical study data. I’m longing for in-person conferences and shows when we can have these types of conversations face to face again.

Till next time


Published by Marc Ellison

Self-confessed SEND nerd who loves geek-ing out about everything to do with SEND. Active CDISC volunteer and member of the CDISC SEND extended leadership team. Director of SEND solutions at Instem responsible for all our industry leading SEND products and services.