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By Meghan Cintorino • January 19, 2018

The Digital Awakening of Clinical Trials

Crowd, Cloud, and Wowed.

I remember a few years ago when the lighthearted response to any minor inconvenience was “There’s an app for that”. And this was in a time before there really was an app for everything.

Fast forward to today, applications that crowdsource information have changed how I interact with the world. Whether it’s planning my morning commute, reading the news, or staying in shape, I rely heavily on information provided by my peers and then aggregated by technology.

Every morning, I depend on my fellow commuters to tell me if I need to find a faster route to work. In the wake of a big event, I rely on my twitter network to keep me updated on the latest news. And when trying to hit a new fitness goal, I rely on my Apple Watch to track my progress and remind me to keep going.

Through connectivity and crowdsourcing, I have expanded my network, gained new insights, and easily tracked my progress towards goals.

Crowdsourcing in Clinical Trials

CloudMine’s mantra is that connected healthcare is better healthcare. If we apply the same crowdsourcing methods to clinical trials that we have used to improve so many facets of our lives already, clinical trials will also expand their networks, gain new insights and easily track progress towards goals.   

Recently, CloudMine did a webinar with our friends at Herolinx on how the intersection of crowdsourcing and connectivity is creating new and innovative clinical trials. Below is a summary of the insights provided by Scott Bellenger of Herolinx, and Ben Moser of CloudMine.

Crowd + CloudCrowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing isn’t a new concept. As Scott pointed out, it has been around since Ancient Babylonia, and has evolved over the years to how we use it today. In fact, companies like Herolinx are bringing crowdsourcing into the healthcare world through technology platforms.

How does it apply to Clinical Trials? Clinical trials can be more successful with increased participation to provide the more data points. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, fewer than 10% of Americans know clinical trials are available as an alternate care option. Additionally, more than half of online health searches are done on behalf of someone else - such as a family member searching for information about their loved one’s condition.

By utilizing crowdsourcing, Herolinx is expanding the reach of clinical trials through a patient’s support system. The impact from Herolinx is two-fold - the patient and their support system become active members of their care strategies, and the clinical trial’s reach is expanded, providing more accurate insights into the trial’s effectiveness.

However, with an increase in the amount and differing formats of data, clinicians worry about the challenges of data governance, security, and a trial’s scalability.

CloudMine has the solution - running trials on a cloud-based, scalable infrastructure.

Moving Trials to the Cloud

During the webinar, CloudMine Director of Integrated Strategy, Ben Moser, discussed how a cloud-based infrastructure like, CloudMine, meets these challenges, while accelerating the clinical trial’s time to market.

Data Sharing & Governance

Cloud-based platforms enable data sharing through single access APIs - meaning, all of the data is flowing in and out of the same source, allowing for standardization of data and language. This breaks down data silos and allows clinicians to create flexible data models. Having the native flexibility of the cloud, and the ability to build front-end interfaces, clinicians can decide who can see different data sets, and who cannot. This allows for tighter security, without sacrificing efficiency.

Quality Control & Analysis

When running a clinical trial, accurate and clear data is paramount. By setting up data control pipelines, trial clinicians can immediately look at data and flag anomalies, for the most accurate results possible. Clinical trials no longer need a full QA staff to manually look at different data streams, as the data comes in, it can be analyzed immediately. Additionally, cloud-based platforms allow clinicians to enforce specific data models, such as medication adherence. If a participant forgets to follow the therapies protocols, clinicians can see the information immediately, flag it, and set up reminders for participants.

A cloud-based infrastructure, like CloudMine, offers efficiency, security, and flexibility to a process that is difficult, but necessary, to scale.

Not only is it necessary to move Clinical Trials into the digital world, it’s a trend we’re already seeing. Check out the full recording to hear about the use-cases that “wowed” us, including the first ever end-to-end, fully digital clinical trial.

Ready to bring your clinical trial to the cloud? Contact CloudMine here.