The Rise of the Freelance Biostatistician

The uberization of the healthcare industry has seen an 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 an increasing number of scientists turn to freelancing, industries have a rich pool of expertise readily available to them, on demand. Data from Kolabtree reveals how companies can overcome research and business challenges with the help of PhD-level experts.

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Easy and Quick Access to Resources

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

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, estimate the value of medical innovation in specific disease areas. Goldberg said that posting his project on Kolabtree was the “single best professional decision” he had made in quite a while. In yet another example, 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, MD of e-Health International, hire a statistician for a complex analysis of the results of his study on treating childhood obesity. In addition to performing the analysis, the freelancer also helped him draft a letter of intent for the publication of the study in a reputable journal.

Effective, Evidence-Based Healthcare

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.

Kolabtree

Kolabtree is the leading online marketplace for freelance scientists and researchers. Their global pool of 5,500+ freelance experts are typically PhD-qualified and are from institutions like MIT and Harvard University. Services offered include statistical analysis, scientific consulting, data analytics, scientific writing and literature search. Kolabtree has helped businesses around the world, including Volkswagen and Sage Publishing, access scientific expertise quickly and easily. The platform lets you choose a budget of your choice, and interact with freelancers before making a hire. It's free to post your requirement on the project and receive quotes from experts. Kolabtree’s freelancers have helped businesses develop a product, write a technical report, perform a data analysis, and more.

Kolabtree is a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs, businesses and research organizations to get quick help from experts at short notice.

Original piece written by Maya Raghunandan. Maya Raghunandan obtained her Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Minnesota, USA. Currently, she is a cancer biology scientist at Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


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Last updated: Jul 29, 2021 at 5:15 AM

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