Contest aims to raise grassroots awareness of clinical research as a care option

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/cifotart)
(Image: Getty/cifotart)
Several teams recently competed in the Popup Star clinical trial awareness contest to help raise grassroots awareness of clinical research as a care option within local communities.

“Clinical trials are care and research,”​ said Greg Simon, JD, President, Biden Cancer Initiative, at the Bridging Clinical Collaborative in April. Though many are unaware of clinical research as a care option.

To help raise awareness, Greater Gift, a not-for-profit based in NC, and several others in the clinical research industry, including the health tech agency PulsePoint, collaborated to bring the Popup Star competition to cities across the world.

“The Greater Gift took on the heavy burden of coordinating this new and innovative attempt to bring clinical research as a care option to various communities supported by the steering committee,”​ said PulsePoint general manager of clinical trial solutions, Angela Radcliffe – who came up with the idea after winning the Inspiring Hope Ideation and being unable to bring the idea to fruition.

“I thought that maybe change and awareness was more likely to happen in a grassroots crowdsourced format,”​ she said. “We need to keep trying to solve the root causes that proliferate stigma around participation and hinder awareness like lack of health literacy if we want to really bring research to the real world.”

The estimated number of people needed to fill the clinical trials registered on is 58m. In the US, that’s one in six of us.

—Craig Lipset, head of clinical innovation at Pfizer, at the Bridging Clinical collaborative

The Popup Star clinical trial awareness contest was launched in November 2017 with a steering committee was made up of clinical research and patient recruitment professionals including pharma, a non-profit, marketing agency, and health technology backgrounds. 

Radcliffe told us the contest’s goal was to empower teams comprised of multiple stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, researchers, advocacy groups, and others, “to come up with unique ideas that would raise grassroots awareness within the local community of clinical research as a care option.”

Teams competed in Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Winston-Salem, NC and Sydney, Australia, during a ten-day period in early April and were judged on factors such as the number of attendees, creativity, diversity, and follow up after the event.

“The projects varied from a trivia show with the host of the popular online game HQ, to an evening of learning at a landmark location, to an event at a food truck festival, to an online campaign designed to get patients talking to their doctors about clinical research,”​ Radcliffe explained.

The winner will be announced at the Popup Star Gala tonight in New York City.

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