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Optimizing Data for Smarter Clinical Trials

At a glance


digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team


  • Microsoft Azure


  • Platform & Product Development
  • Open Source
  • Data and Analytics
  • Engineering


  • Life Sciences & Healthcare

Personalized medicine, hailed as the future of healthcare, relies on data. But data is only useful if it’s aggregated and curated in a way that drives insights. The digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team (digital ECMT), part of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester, was looking for a partner to optimize their data visualization and analysis tool for Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in oncology. The company approached EPAM for our software development and data analytics expertise.

The result is ACUITY, released in 2022 as an open source tool by digital ECMT through the CRUK UpSMART Accelerator Consortium.* ACUITY has already proven valuable in streamlining clinical trial research with its use by European pharmaceutical companies, as well as a UK research hospital in COVID-19 observational studies. Customizable and easy to deploy, ACUITY allows clinical trial results to be visualized faster in near real time, while maintaining the accuracy of longer projects. The result? Clinical trial leaders can suspend unsuccessful trials sooner, reapplying those resources to other trials — saving time and money on life-saving work.

* Ref: Fouziah, B. et al. Digit Med 2022, 8:1

Working Faster & Smarter

Ninety percent of drugs never make it to market because they fail in clinical trials. Fundamentally, ACUITY is built to support clinical research and help the world find new cures for diseases faster and more efficiently. Because of its built-in efficiencies, ACUITY can also help clinicians achieve more personalized medicine for cancer patients as well as patients with other diseases.

As an open source tool (as of February 2022), ACUITY’s potential is greatly magnified as more companies use it as the foundation for unlimited commercial and academic applications. ACUITY is integrated with cBioPortal, a platform that allows researchers to go deeper into gene variations to support hypothesis generation and better understand the genomic profile of a cancer, potential targets for treatment and what variations may be driving an efficacy signal.

ACUITY also can be integrated with EPAM’s Digital Clinical Trials acceleratoras well as a wide range of other external solutions and tools.

Seeing is Discovering

ACUITY takes data from multiple sources and organizes it in one place for a holistic view of any clinical trial, with much faster uploading of data sets.

ACUITY offers 35 visualizations on a population level and seven visualizations on a single subject level, including extended genomics visualizations to help researchers understand genomic changes and their relationships with other data.

Specifically for oncology clinical trials, additional visualizations for sponsor- and patient-reported data include:

  • Circulating tumor DNA plot
  • Waterfall plot
  • Biomarkers plot/ genomic profile
  • Target lesion diameters over time
  • Prior therapies versus time on compound

With an intuitive user interface and navigation, the available tool is easy to use.

Laptop Mob

Building Seamless Technology

Open data standards facilitate the seamless export and import of data and integrate the system with existing diagnostic and decision support systems. Integrated modules can be rearranged or replaced as needed for customization.

The platform makes it easier to detect early safety signals, perform efficacy and tolerability analysis, form and check hypotheses and monitor data quality.

ACUITY is integrated with Microsoft Azure using the following components:

Virtual Machines for storing applications in the cloud
Active Directory for storing and managing users
Storage for raw data source files
Key Vault for storing confidential information and certificates
Network Services for adding security on a network level
Web Application Firewall for adding security capabilities

ACUITY is built to work on any infrastructure or hosting environment, including deployment to on-premises. Outside of Azure, ACUITY has a standalone version that can be easily deployed to a laptop so all members of a clinical trial team can collaborate.

Designing the Future of Drug Discovery

ACUITY is being used now in 10 clinical trials with more coming online regularly. Recent additions include the capture of data from wearables and integration with open data standards, Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership Common Data Model (OMOP CDM) and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

The current iteration is only the beginning. We will continue to add machine learning algorithms as well as other features.

Because ACUITY is available for the world to use, the entire clinical trials community has a tool to help find new cures and other important drugs faster and more efficiently than ever before.

This project was supported by the AstraZeneca iDECIDE collaboration grant (119106) awarded to The University of Manchester in partnership with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and CRUK, Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) and Fundacion Científica – Asociacion Espanola Contra el Cancer (FC -AECC), via an Accelerator Award [A29374] through the CRUK Manchester Institute [C147/A25254].


Learn more about EPAM’s experience in the life sciences industry here.