Despite efforts to increase the number of participants through greater use of electronic data capture (EDC) and distribution systems, contract research organisations (CRO) continue to identify patient recruitment and retention as the key bottlenecks in the trial process.
While EDC and protocol improvements can help recruitment rates by making it easier for subjects to participate, such measures do not address the need to increase awareness among patients and physicians of precisely which clinical programmes are available.
It is just this issue that the partnership is designed to address. Under the new three-year deal CenterWatch will share its extensive database of clinical trials with health IT specialist TrialX for inclusion on its website.
TrialX’ site is a suite of web 2.0 services that provide information on trials via a range of outlets that include social media sites like twitter, portals such as Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault as well as a soon to be released iPhone application.
CenterWatch’s senior vice president, Chris Pooley, explained that the rationale for the project is to boost the number of patients participating in clinical trials by increasing the awareness of the programmes available.
"One of CenterWatch's fundamental objectives is to ensure that patients have the access they need to the thousands of clinical trials going on around the world," adding that "likewise, it's important that investigators have as many avenues as possible for patient recruitment.”
TrialX’ co-founder, Vivek Garg, was also positive about the collaboration’s ability to improve the flow of information about available clinical trials, providing pharma sponsors with larger patient pools and patients with greater access to new drugs.
Garg suggested that: "This agreement will allow our site to receive current, accurate clinical trials information which will ultimately support our mission to help patients find trials that match their health conditions in an easy and timely manner."
TrialX’ website can be accessed here .