The network is called Click It Forward, and has been designed to work alongside the big two social networking sites – Facebook and MySpace – to raise awareness of clinical trials and encourage people to volunteer to take part.
“Social networking is an ideal environment for promoting clinical trial awareness and increasing Acurian's direct-to-patient recruitment capabilities,” said Scott Connor, Acurian’s vice president of marketing.
Acurian hopes that people will register and install the free Click it Forward application on their Facebook or MySpace page. The idea is that they will then spread the application by inviting their online friends to install it.
Users are rewarded with points based on how many friends subsequently install the application, and the more points gained, the more money that Acurian donates to a selection of preferred medical causes selected by the user upon registration.
“Not only do you provide financial support to your cause, but you help educate others on how to participate in medical research that may someday improve or save their lives,” according to the app’s blurb.
Click It Forward can also make use of a Google Earth plugin that allows users to see a dynamic, visual map of their own Click it Forward network. Acurian has committed to making a total maximum contribution of $50,000 per year across all causes supported by users of the Click it Forward application.
Acurian already maintains an active database of over 50 million individuals who have opted-in to receive new healthcare information, including clinical trial opportunities. Connor believes Click it Forward will serve to grow the database while also raising money for over 20 medical causes.
At the time of writing Click It Forward had 158 monthly active users on Facebook.