ELITE Disrupter Glen de Vries of Medidata Solutions

Glen de Vries

President and Co-founder

Medidata Solutions



Transforming the Clinical Trial Process

Everyone talks about the potential of Big Data, but Glen de Vries may put it best when he compares Big Data to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. While one helped scholars gain insight into Egyptian history the other has the potential to cure life sciences’ R&D malaise.

Glen learned about the inefficiencies in the clinical trial process firsthand while working in a lab at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center to develop a blood assay for prostate cancer detection. He saw the need to improve data collection so he developed a prototype of a web-based application to collect and analyze clinical trial data. He took the prototype and joined two other partners to form Medidata—back in 1999.

Glen’s prototype turned into Medidata Rave, the company’s flagship cloud electronic data capture (EDC) system, which along with the Medidata Clinical Cloud platform have positioned Medidata as one of the global leaders in capturing, managing, and reporting clinical research data. Today, the Medidata Clinical Cloud is used by more than 90% of the top 25 global life sciences organizations, with 17 of them using the platform as their primary technology solution for clinical trials. In 2014, eight out of the top-10 revenue-generating drugs were developed with the help of Medidata’s technology.

Sixteen years later, Glen is still searching for ways to collect not more data, but better data—data that can lead to more efficient trials. Recently, he charged Medidata’s mHealth team to combine Medidata’s cloud-based technologies with mobile solutions for more objective data. The company’s initiatives in this space include the MOVE clinical trial (a behavioral study involving Fitbit devices); a joint collaboration with GSK (one of the first to integrate wearable devices and sensors into the cloud to collect patient data); and an ongoing study with Nestlé (examining the impact of nutrition combined with physical activity for healthy aging adults with joint discomfort).

These initiatives helped Glen and the mHealth team develop Medidata’s latest offerings: SensorLink, which allows data to be ingested into the Medidata Clinical Cloud from more than 200 wearable sensors; and AppConnect, a software development kit that allows for the quick integration of custom apps with the Medidata platform.


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