The right technology can help provide insight and harness knowledge to dramatically improve this process for everyone, from sponsors to patients. It is essential that the recruitment process be a collaborative partnership between healthcare providers, sponsors, CROs, and patient advocacy groups—all working from a central clinical trial enablement platform to bring lasting solutions to cancer and other critical illnesses that can improve the standard of care for patients everywhere. It must be a shared mission to ensure that every patient has access to the best treatment option, which can be a clinical trial. Technology at scale and invested with comprehensive detail can help enable such a mission.
Identifying tomorrow’s patients
Participating in trials as a clinical research site can be difficult. Screening for eligible trial patients can be a tedious and error-prone process for sites, akin to finding specific snowflakes in a storm. The most time-consuming element is knowing which patients to review for matching to the eligibility requirements of the clinical trial, which is often a manual process that can take a significant amount of work and time. And more complex eligibility criteria make it even more difficult to find patients who qualify and want to participate. The search process requires an automated method to sift through thousands of patients who may not be right for the trial, so researchers can concentrate on the ones who are.
Identifying patients who could be eligible for a trial tomorrow can accelerate research. A powerful single source of truth can reach out and help watch patients who could be eligible once the current treatment is no longer working, so that they would move to be eligible—for example, if they meet all criteria for a trial. Perhaps the latest treatment hasn’t failed yet.
Once we learn that it has failed, then that patient automatically becomes eligible and the site is made aware of it so that the physician has a comfortable workflow to move the patient to a trial. The research staff can discuss the trial as the next treatment option with that patient at their next appointment.
The research and data to propel new therapies is there. We just need a single source of truth with the detail and capacity that can guide us into new frontiers in care.
Carla Balch is CEO of Inteliquet, a maker of software for matching cancer patients to clinical trials. Previously, Carla was President and CEO of Altos Solutions, now Flatiron Health.