A more “systematic” approach to data collection and sharing is needed to better prepare for future pandemics, according to a report from the G7 summit.

Better use of data to support clinical trials, underpin global disease surveillance, and to support accelerated deployment of diagnostics and vaccines were key points to come out of this weekend’s G7 summit in Cornwall.

Global leaders from the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and European Union met from June 11-13 to discuss the biggest issues of the day, including the ‘100 days mission to respond to future pandemic threats’ from the government’s pandemic preparedness partnership.

Leaders were called upon to consider a number of recommendations to embed best practice from Covid-19 across “clinical trials, data regulation and transferable manufacturing”.

They were told of the need to “make the exceptional routine by embedding best practice and preparation in business-as-usual activity” to better prepare the world for future health emergencies.

The partnership gave its support to the G7 science academies’ (S7) road map towards a more “systematic approach to data capture, standards, sharing and analysis”.

“The roadmap will build on efforts to embed best practice on data sharing and focus on unlocking data to support progress in three priority areas for the G7: better global disease surveillance; the use of social-behavioural insights and public health response data to inform policy responses to epidemics; and accelerated development, manufacturing, and deployment of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,” the report states.

Existing international protocols are a “major challenge” for the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

“Greater collaboration on data standards and platforms could also increase the utility of testing data so that results can be linked to surveillance systems, clinical care and public health responses for control, tracing and isolation,” the report added.

“The S7 recommendations are an important step forward to realise a better level of ‘data readiness’ for future health emergencies and should be endorsed.”

A network of clinical trial platforms underpinned by “smart data” should be set up to manage disease outbreaks in a way that allows them to “pivot at speed and scale” if a pandemic hits, the report states.

“Smart data capture and flexible trial management information systems that integrate diverse health datasets should be the norm to support trial set-up and patient enrolment and ensure that information is transparent and easily accessible for subsequent decision making and licensing, in line with appropriate confidentiality protections,” it said.

The World Health Organisation was also called upon to define the “rules of the road” and good practice as part of its treaty on pandemic preparedness – a global initiative to foster resilience to future pandemics.

The protocols of the rules of the road should cover “essential practices” including data sharing, according to the report.

Progress reports on the ‘100 days mission to respond to future pandemic threats’ are expected by April 2022.