Epic launches program to ‘unify’ clinical research with care delivery

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Joseph Reynolds / Getty Images
© Joseph Reynolds / Getty Images

Related tags: Clinical trials, Patient recruitment

Epic’s Life Sciences program is released with the aim to connect providers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers to recruit research participants, expand clinical trial access, and to speed up therapy development.

On the launch, Epic stated that it plans to unite each of the stakeholders through the use of a single system, the Life Sciences program. According to the company, providers globally are using Epic to conduct more than 100,000 active research studies, which feature approximately 4.7 million patients.

With the Life Sciences program, Epic will focus on matching providers with clinical trials suited to the makeup of their patient populations, which the company states will be available at launch. Extending beyond this, Alan Hutchison, VP, population, health and payer strategy at Epic, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the company’s R&D team is currently working on the next components of the roadmap for the Life Sciences program.

The release states that Epic has four further aims beyond clinical trial matching: making clinical trials accessible, increasing clinical trial efficiency, supporting clinicians with point-of-care insights, and to deliver purpose-built searches to providers to assess whether a trial is right for them.

The overall goal, according to Hutchison, is to create, “A unified infrastructure that connects all aspects of healthcare—including providers, patients, payers, specialty diagnostics labs, life sciences companies, and more—can foster higher quality care, a more cohesive healthcare experience, and more rapid medical innovation.”

Epic stated that the Life Sciences program would expand clinical trial access, including to underrepresented communities, which is a major talking point across the industry​. Hutchison clarified that improving access could be thought of as a two-stage process, in regard to study sites and individual patients.

In terms of study sites, the clinical trial matchmaking allows sponsors to connect with provider organizations to treat diverse patient populations. The outcome for participating provider sites will be to receive more clinical trial opportunities suited to their patients, Hutchison outlined. Epic is also working to lower the technical and staffing barriers to entry for study site participation, expanding access to both providers and patients.

For the patients, Hutchison said, “Providers can share study opportunities with patients directly through MyChart, which more than 155 million US patients use to manage their care today. We’re further enhancing this patient-driven workflow by creating a single landing spot in MyChart where patients will be able to browse studies happening across the Epic community that suit their unique genomic profiles, medical histories, and research preferences.”

In addition, providers will be able to see real-time, in-workflow alerts that indicate when their patients’ clinical data indicate that they qualify for a clinical trial.

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