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Novartis turns from social networking to apps for trial recruitment

Launches iPhone and Android cancer trial app in the US

Novartis Clinical Trial Seek appHaving tried Twitter as a patient recruitment channel, and then mothballed its dedicated account on the social network, Novartis has turned to mobile apps to boost the number of people signing up for its clinical trials.

Its new US Clinical Trial Seek app aims to help patients and doctors search for cancer trials and is based on information found on the National Institutes of Health database.

The free app is so far only available in the US and comes in versions designed for Apple and Android devices.

Its launch follows Novartis' 2009 experiment in using Twitter, through the @NovartisTrials account, to publicise which of its US clinical trials were open for enrolment.

That account ultimately upped its privacy settings and had its tweets deleted, but the new app promises a far fuller set of features for users, including education about how trials work and a search function for local studies.

The Clinical Trial Seek app also allows users to save searches as favourites, email specific search results to themselves or others and investigate eligibility requirements for participation in the trials.

Alongside the launch of the Clinical Trial Seek app, Novartis' US oncology business has also released a second app for cancer patients in the form of My Net Manager.

This app functions as an extended patient diary for people suffering from neuroendocrine tumours (NET), providing tools to help them organise information about their cancer.

Users can record symptoms as they occur, access healthcare team contact information, set themselves medication reminders, keep track of appointments, review and track their test results and share information with their health care team. 

Meanwhile, Novartis appears to have pulled one of its earliest forays into the world of smartphone apps. The VaxTrak app allowed users to keep track of their vaccination and search for the nearest pharmacy that offered a flu jab but, as first reported by MobiHealthNews, it is no longer available on either the iTunes Store or Google Play.

Links to the two new Novartis apps, and many more from pharma, can be found in the Digital Handbook 

19th March 2013

From: Research

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