AVMA Animal Health Studies Database

AAHSD Background and Future

During the period of 2012 – 2015, the AVMA Strategic Operating Plan included a goal to 'Advance Scientific Research & Discovery'. Towards fulfillment of that goal, in the spring of 2014 the AVMA Council on Research recommended that the AVMA consider establishing a national veterinary clinical trials database. The AVMA Board of Directors (BOD) considered that recommendation and funded a working group of knowledgeable individuals, including academicians, specialists, and industry representatives, to determine the need for such a database and the potential value of establishing one. The working group submitted their report back to the AVMA BOD in the summer of 2015 and the BOD approved development of a basic clinical studies database which would serve to measure the acceptance and engagement by the veterinary research community and the value to the AVMA membership, the veterinary profession at large, and the animal-owning public. The AVMA Animal Health Studies Database was developed in-house by the AVMA Information Technology Division and launched in June, 2016.

The design of the AAHSD was influenced by several sources and groups. The gold standard for the functionality of the AAHSD was the National Library of Medicine's ClinicalTrials.gov database, the central registry for clinical trials in people. The influence of groups calling for greater transparency and standardization in the conduct of veterinary clinical trials, such as the Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine group, RCVS Knowledge, and VetAllTrials, is demonstrated by the comprehensive amount of information required for listing a study in the database. That required information was largely derived from the World Health Organizations' International Standards for Clinical Trial Registries, and should help ensure that the AAHSD study listings will be accepted as standardized throughout the world.

Dependent upon the level of use and perceived value, the future of the AAHSD might range from incremental improvements to its present form and function to expansion of resources and functionality. At a minimum, development of (or use of an existing) standardized taxonomy for classification of the studies within the AAHSD is a goal for the near future. If it is perceived to be successful and community support is strong, then future versions of the AAHSD might include such resources such as a registry for owners of animals with certain conditions, a registry for veterinary practitioners interested in participating in the conduct of clinical studies, a virtual tissue bank (for research scientists to request certain tissues or samples from animals with a specific condition), or even establishment of a knowledge network for veterinary practices linked to the AAHSD.