LCOI-API Series: Introducing the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation API

This is the first in a series of blog posts introducing the LCOI-API.  We'll discuss it's purpose and value, and share how it can be used by developers to create solutions in the spirit of clinical open innovation.

We are proud to publish version 1.0 of the LCOI-API and share it with you.

For the non-techie among us, the acronym stands for Application Programming Interface. Simply put, an API allows software to communicate with each other.  A good API makes it easier to improve or create new applications by providing functionality and data.

We know that an essential part of bringing an Open Clinical Innovation Network to life is to enable developers, informaticists and tech-savvy folks to create their own applications to Collect, Consume, Curate and Connect around digitized clinical objects.  Our API is focused on that tech-savvy community, as well as curious folks who are makers at heart.

If you've been following our efforts, you know that we see an enormous need and potential to accelerate clinical research and development processes.  Making clinical information accessible and useful on the internet is fundamental to clinical open innovation, and a well-planned API is essential in the equation.

The Open Clinical Intelligence Network model has informed the development of our LCOI-API from day one.  So while we have included capabilities that are valuable today, we have also built it to be flexible and scalable for the future.  Technical information about the LCOI-API can be found here.

V1.0 initially draws data sourced from and transforms it into a format developers of web applications can use. Our own Clinical Collections mashup application uses LCOI-API to access clinical trial data.

Here's a quick list describing the LCOI-API :

  1. Open API
  2. REST architecture
  3. Data sourced from
  4. Read only Study and Study Topic resources
  5. Provides geo-encoding for trial sites
  6. JSON and Exhibit JSON data formats
  7. Field level selection
  8. Pagination of returned results
  9. Clinical Collections tool is powered off the API
  10. Reference Guide

We'll share more details on capabilities and value of the LCOI-API as our series continues.  Please know the LCOI-API release is just the first step to providing open resources and tools to support developers.

Our next steps include open-sourcing software.  We plan on using GNU Lesser GPL and CC0 1.0 licensing, and providing developer-focused communication and support forums.  We're working through the legal and compliance steps to get there, and we'll be providing these additional resources as they are ready.

We invite you to use and share the open LCOI-API.   We're interested in your feedback and ideas, and are here to answer questions you might have.  Drop us a comment, contact us or follow us on Twitter @Lilly_COI to keep in touch.