COVID-19 Clinical Trial Tracker | 24 March 2020

HealthMatch’s COVID-19 clinical trial tracker and our commitment to medical research

Written by Manuri Gunawardena

Update: After successful clinical trials of several vaccines and the start of global vaccination programs, the HealthMatch clinical trial tracker has been retired.

Callout:

  1. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, HealthMatch provided patient recruitment services free to all organisations (public and private) for COVID-19 research. This includes pharmaceutical, biotechnology, NFP, Universities, Government and other organisations unified in the fight against COVID-19.

  2. HealthMatch developed a free, public global clinical trial tracker available

  3. We know that this was a difficult time for many researchers and patients who have also had their clinical trials on other conditions disrupted, delayed or abandoned. Now that hospitals have begun to function as normal and clinical trials have resumed, we are here to continue to support our patients, doctors and scientists to get new medicines out to those that need them most.

Importance of Medical Research & Cooperation

The devastating impact of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is being felt globally, highlighting the importance of medical research and the critical role it plays in our fight against deadly pathogens.

From the beginning of 2020, we have seen unprecedented levels of international cooperation between individual researchers, public & private institutions and governments in the race to find a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. The tireless efforts of the individuals involved combined with the focus and resources of the public and private institutions backing them, has meant significant progress has already been made in both our understanding and ability to treat COVID-19.

These joint efforts are yielding significant results with several new diagnostic tests now in production, repurposed medications and innovative vaccines entering clinical trials, the power of working together in this time of crisis is being seen firsthand.

Several potential treatments and vaccine candidates are now reaching clinical trials, a vital process to ensure both the efficacy and safety of these breakthroughs before being made available for wider use amongst the population.

Unfortunately over 80% of clinical trials face delays or abandonment due to insufficient patient recruitment.¹²³⁴

We are conscious that as a product of the global focus on COVID-19 trials as well as rapidly growing patient populations, recruitment for these trials will be unlikely to face the same barriers that many others do. Regardless, we understand that eligibility criteria may tighten, a wider range of participants may be required outside the hospital setting (asymptomatic and healthy) and a day saved in recruitment for a needed treatment could mean the difference in hundreds of lives, especially in a pandemic of this magnitude.

What HealthMatch offers is a highly efficient way of screening patients in minutes to reduce burden on an already overloaded medical system, targeted to the largest audience possible (patients) which can rapidly pivot to suit changes in eligibility criteria, location constraints and other requirements.

This is why, in response to the pandemic and in recognition of playing our part in the wider ecosystem, HealthMatch will provide patient recruitment services free to all organisations for COVID-19 research. This includes pharmaceutical, biotechnology, NFP, Universities, Government and other organisations unified in the fight against COVID-19.

We have also previously hosted a free, publicly accessible global clinical trial tracker to assist researchers and the general public to view publicly reported clinical trial data. The tracker was updated in real time, and helped increase visibility into the development and testing of the COVID-19 vaccines that are now rolling out world-wide.

HealthMatch was founded to accelerate treatments and cures, through efficient medical research. The crux of our focus has been on creating efficient recruitment to clinical trials by leveraging technology to empower patients to easily access trials they are interested and eligible to participate in.

More than anything, HealthMatch was designed to remove barriers between patients and researchers to increase the speed of research, specifically in recruitment timeframes. A factor more crucial now than ever.

HealthMatch since inception has taken a stance in being both free for patients to use and free for non-industry sponsored researchers.

Non- COVID-19 Clinical Trials

At HealthMatch, we know that this is a difficult time for many researchers and patients who have also had their clinical trials focussing on other conditions disrupted, delayed or abandoned. The anxiety we are all feeling waiting for the results of COVID-19 Clinical trials is the exact feeling many cancer patients and chronic illness sufferers feel when new medicine is delayed in clinical trials.

We hope that as a wider take away from COVID-19, the spotlight is directed to the importance of supporting medical research and clinical trials to find new medicines for the many medical conditions for which we have no treatments.

And when this all settles, we’ve successfully flattened the curve and hospitals can begin to function again and clinical trials resume, we will be there to continue to support our patients, doctors and scientists to get new medicines out to those that need them most.

¹Anderson, D. (2004). A guide to patient recruitment and retention. Thomson CenterWatch.

²Carlisle, B., Kimmelman, J., Ramsay, T., & MacKinnon, N. (2014). Unsuccessful trial accrual and human subjects protections: An empirical analysis of recently closed trials. Clinical Trials: Journal Of The Society For Clinical Trials12(1), 77–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/1740774514558307

³Editors, A. (2020). Subject Recruitment and Retention: Barriers to Success. Appliedclinicaltrialsonline.com. Retrieved 23 March 2020, from http://www.appliedclinicaltrialsonline.com/subject-recruitment-and-retention-barriers-success.

⁴Treweek, S., Mitchell, E., Pitkethly, M., Cook, J., Kjeldstrøm, M., & Johansen, M. et al. (2010). Strategies to improve recruitment to randomised controlled trials. Cochrane Database Of Systematic Reviewshttps://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.mr000013.pub5

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