Introducing openFDA

Welcome to the new home of openFDA! We are incredibly excited to see so much interest in our work and hope that this site can be a valuable resource to those wishing to use public FDA data in both the public and private sector to spur innovation, further regulatory or scientific missions, educate the public, and save lives.

Through openFDA, developers and researchers will have easy access to high-value FDA public data through RESTful APIs and structured file downloads. In short, our goal is to make it simple for an application, mobile, or Web developer, or all stripes of researchers, to use data from FDA in their work. We’ve done an extensive amount of research both internally and with potential external developers to identify which datasets are both in demand and have a high barrier of entry. As a result, our initial pilot project will cover a number of datasets from various areas within FDA, defined into three broad focus areas: Adverse Events, Product Recalls, and Product Labeling. These API’s won’t have one-on-one matching to FDA’s internal data organizational structure; rather, we intend to abstract on top of a myriad of datasets and provide appropriate metadata and identifiers when possible. Of course, we’ll always make the raw source data available for people who prefer to work that way (and it’s good to mention that we also will not be releasing any data that could potentially be used to identify individuals or other private information).

The openFDA initiative is one part of the larger Office of Informatics and Technology Innovation roadmap. As part of my role as FDA’s Chief Health Informatics Officer, I’m working to lead efforts to move FDA in to a cutting edge technology organization. You’ll be hearing more about our other initiatives, including Cloud Computing, High Performance Computing, Next Generation Sequencing, and mobile-first deployment in the near future.

As we work towards a release of openFDA we’ll begin to share more about our work and how you can get involved. In the meantime, I suggest you sign up for our listserv (on our home page) to get the latest updates on the project. You can also reach our team via email if there is a unique partnership opportunity or other collaboration you wish to discuss.This post was originally published on the openFDA blog by Dr. Taha Kass-Hout, the Chief Health Informatics Officer of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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