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Spotlight on: Science 37

Two of the hot topics in clinical trials right now are the potential of technology to improve how we plan and manage studies, and the importance of patient centricity – ensuring that the patient experience is at the centre of every aspect of a trial.

A patient-centric approach can include:

- Ensuring the patients are involved in developing the trial protocol

- Planning trial sites and schedules around the needs of patients

- Using online resources such as social media networks to find potential participants – especially those who usually wouldn’t hear about opportunities to take part in trials

At MESM, we’re always interested in new industry developments that will help clinical trials professionals run better, more efficient studies. In this blog post, we focus on one company whose mission touches on both the potential of technology in healthcare and on the importance of patient centricity.

Science 37, a start-up based in California, has a developed a platform that takes advantage of mobile technology to help researchers and study managers make their trials more accessible to a wider range of patients.

What does the platform do?

Science 37’s mobile clinical trial platform lets participants take part in trials remotely. The mobile app can be used to deliver instructions to patients, track compliance and collect data. The goal is to remove geographical barriers to trial participation, minimising or eliminating the need for patients to make site visits. This has the potential to greatly increase the participant pool for researchers, and to allow patients who wouldn’t otherwise be able to take part in a trial to benefit from participating.

Science 37 claim their platform can allow researchers to carry out trials that are both cheaper and quicker, getting new drugs to market faster.

Last year, Science 37 raised $6.5 million in investment and in October 2016 they raised a further $31 million. They have also secured support from Sanofi who are working closely with them to further develop the platform. Clearly, investors and pharmaceutical companies see the potential in this platform to play a key role in the digital revolution taking place in healthcare and research.

One to watch

The platform from Science 37 represents a really exciting moment for clinical trials, as innovative technology companies are helping to solve some of the biggest challenges within clinical research, at a faster pace than the industry has been used to in the past.

In the next few years, we’ll see more trials being carried out through remote platforms, and the early learnings from these trials will offer important insights for the industry, allowing future protocols to be refined and optimised. We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on the company’s evolution, and will look forward to seeing the feedback on the first trials using Science 37’s platform.