The story of clinical trials is a story of progress. From the first documented experiment, to recent explorations of DNA sequencing in drug development, clinical research has played an important role in improving the health of people all over the world.
We’re glad that International Clinical Trials Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate this story every year. Last year, we imagined what James Lind’s scurvy study, widely believed to be the first controlled clinical trial, might have looked like on ClinicalTrials.gov. This year, we’re expanding our scope a little to bring you an interactive timeline of the history of clinical trials.
The timeline includes summaries of clinical trial milestones throughout history. We gathered the information for the summaries from a wide variety of online sources, which are linked to from within each milestone summary. Many of the milestones are accompanied by an image and / or video, which can be clicked for more detail. Select the Highlight Regulatory Events or Highlight People options to highlight milestones in these respective categories. When the Scale Timeline option is selected, the timeline will adjust to represent the relative length of time between milestones.
When scrolling through the timeline, you begin to see the how the contributions of different people and groups created the positive changes that made clinical trials safer and more scientifically sound. Our new era of more open communication through the Internet and social media is an opportunity to create new positive changes like increased clinical trial awareness and greater inclusion of patients in trial design. We hope that these clinical trial innovations today can become clinical trial milestones tomorrow, ultimately bringing forth better treatments than ever before.
We’d love to hear what you think about the timeline. Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter.