Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Online patient network PatientsLikeMe has unveiled a new search tool that provides an easy way for its members to find clinical trials to take part in.
The free tool draws on open data to match patients from around the globe with clinical trials based on their condition and location.
Research director Paul Wicks said: “Open data helps us accelerate the pace of research, and it's crucial we do everything possible to match patients to trials that might advance treatment and help them live better with their condition.”
The global tool, which sits within the PatientsLikeMe website, was tested last year in the US, where the network said it “has already helped thousands of patients find suitable clinical trials”.
In addition to providing its members with a new service, the tool should also help PatientsLikeMe's commercial aspirations to be seen as a “real-time research platform”.
Its new tool uses information from the US government's clinicaltrials.gov website and individual trial listings prominently feature the number of its members that could be eligible to participate.
For example, PatientsLikeMe says that is has 420 members who may find this trial of Faslodex and Aromasis that AstraZeneca is running in Germany suitable.
The ability to match patients from an existing community to trials is likely to give it a significant advantage over the kinds of clinical trial websites that big pharma companies, among them AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, already run for their own studies.
It will also pit PatientsLikeMe against some of the biggest names in clinical research, such as Quintiles, which last year consolidated its digital patient resources into a single unit to offer a more efficient patient recruitment service to pharma.