Usage of Akaza Research’s web-based open-source software for electronic data capture and clinical data management has ballooned over the last year, the US-based company says.

A recent survey of the OpenClinica community showed a 246% increase in the number of OpenClinica users over the past 12 months, reported US-based Akaza, which launched the software in 2005. That figure included users working at the trial sponsor or contract research organisation level, but not users at clinical trial sites.

Moreover, 168,989 subjects were involved in OpenClinica-powered studies, a 224% increase over the previous year.

The number of OpenClinica-powered trials used in regulatory submissions was up by 975%, and over the next year OpenClinica adopters expect to boost this figure by a further 200%, Akaza noted, adding: “This is consistent with our OpenClinica Enterprise Edition customer growth, where a majority of new customers are from industry”.

The software is available either in the OpenClinica Community Edition, which may be freely downloaded, used and modified, or as the OpenClinica Enterprise Edition, a certified build of the open-source technology commercially supported by Akaza Research.

Since the latest usage data came from a voluntary survey of the OpenClinica community, “they are likely underestimates”, commented Akaza’s chief executive officer, Cal Collins.

That community now comprises more than 10,500 users and developers, many of whom help to review and adapt the open-source software, Akaza said. The composition of the OpenClinica community is changing over time, with a growing number of users involved in commercial clinical trials.

At the moment, 55% of community members identify themselves as working in industry, with the remainder working in academic or government settings, Akaza pointed out. Geographically, around 33% of OpenClinica users are located in North America, 30% in Europe, 14% in Asia, 9% in Africa, 7% in South America and 7% in Australia.