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02.21.2018 | Member News & Releases

The rise of the freelance biostatistician

February 21, 2018 – The uberisation of the healthcare industry has seen a increase in the number of freelance biostatisticians, who are offering their services on platforms like Kolabtree. 

The gig economy has transformed not just industries and businesses but has also revolutionised science and research. As a increasing number of scientists turn to freelancing, industries have a rich pool of expertise readily available to them, on demand. Data from Kolabtree, a platform with over 4,100 registered freelance scientists, reveals how companies can overcome research and business challenges with the help of PhD-level experts.

The interdisciplinary healthcare industry, in particular, benefits from easy access to resources at short notice. A varied workforce, ranging from data scientists to biotechnologists, participates in the development and delivery of effective healthcare to global populations. Over the last few years, biostatisticians, or statisticians who work with life sciences data, have been finding an important place in the industry. Biostatistics is a specialized mathematical branch which uses advanced statistical methods for analyzing data in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Biostatisticians help make accurate inferences from complex data, playing a key role in several areas of healthcare, including drug development, public health, population genetics, epidemiology and genome sequencing. In 2017, CNN Money listed biostatistics as the 48th best career in the US.

While biostatisticians are slowly becoming indispensable in hospitals, pharma companies and research labs, hiring a full-time, in-house biostatisticians is an expensive affair. The average salary of a biostatistician is $91,800 per year, with the top-paying jobs in the federal government and pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. The job demand for these experts is expected to grow 34% over the next ten  years. Recognizing this demand, biostatisticians are starting to offer their services on a freelance and/or contract basis. Since 2015, over 100 biostatisticians — from institutions like Imperial College London and John Hopkins University — have registered themselves as freelancers on Kolabtree. Their skills range from designing effective clinical trials to reviewing and validating the statistical power of studies being prepared to be published.

Kolabtree’s freelance biostatisticians have worked on a wide variety of projects, which include recommending statistical methodologies for studies and performing advanced statistical analyses. Dlorah Jenkins, an experienced researcher and public health expert, helped Jessica Adams assess the impact of an HIV-awareness initiative in Uganda. She designed a statistical model for the study, which helped Adams and her team apply for several research grants.

Dr. Sukant Khurana, an interdisciplinary scientist, helped Robert Goldberg, co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest in New York, estimate the value of medical innovation in specific disease areas. Goldberg said “I contracted with a brilliant Biostatistician and his team that not only completed my project before my deadline but also enhanced my analysis with their insights.” As a great example of remote collaboration, an Indian statistician designed a clinical trial for a California-based breast cancer surgeon to measure the effectiveness of his treatment. Kolabtree also helped Robert Pretlow of e-Health International, which offers a health management system, hire a statistician for a complex analysis of the results of his study on treating childhood obesity.

The fee for these projects ranged from $400 to $2400, and the turnaround times ranged from a few days to a few weeks. Both the accessibility and affordability of the freelancers allowed for quick and easy cross-border collaboration with the clients. With the help of freelance biostatisticians, small research startups, government bodies and nonprofits, health advocacies and public health organizations will be able to take data-driven decisions on demand and deliver effective, evidence-based healthcare to those who need it most.

About Kolabtree – Kolabtree connects businesses and labs with freelance PhD-qualified scientists all over the world. The platform has over 4,000 registered freelance PhDs who are offering services such as statistical review, data analytics, literature search, writing, editing, scientific consulting and experimental design. Experts include scientists from the likes of NASA, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Cambridge, with expertise across disciplines including life science, data science, healthcare, social science, and physical science.

If you are a business needing the help of a freelancer, you can post your project for free on http://www.kolabtree.com.

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