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The ClinTrial Refer App and Website provides quick access to currently recruiting trials and straightforward referral pathways to active clinical trial sites, offering an efficient and informative solution for clinicians. Ahead of joining the Health Horizon Innovation Alley at the World Hospital Congress in October, Business Development Manager Christine Zahren spoke to us about the aims and motivations of their growing platform.

Christine Zahren, Business Development Manager, ClinTrial Refer

What is your health innovation? What does it aim to do?

ClinTrial Refer (CTR) is a Mobile App and Website platform that provides better knowledge management of clinical trials. It provides clinicians, patients and researchers rapid access to currently recruiting trials, and it provides a simple effective referral pathway to active clinical trial sites. ClinTrial Refer aims to be the most comprehensive, current, and accessible recruitment solution in Australia and abroad. It is potentially life-saving knowledge in a pocket!

How is your innovation relevant to hospitals?

ClinTrial Refer is bridging practice to therapeutic interventions in their development phase. It provides time-poor clinicians in the hospital setting real-time access to emerging therapy options for patients. The Apps’ digital footprint means that it is also servicing regional and rural hospital communities.
ClinTrial Refer is bridging a critical gap in clinical research as an information management tool in the busy hospital setting and allowing more rapid and equitable access to clinical trials. The average time spent on the App by a doctor to search for an individual patient is 60seconds.
The App was first launched for Haematology trials in NSW in 2013 and an instant and sustained x9fold increase in cross-referrals between hospitals and trial sites was observed. A 64% increase in recruitment of both urban and regional/rural patients were seen and a 60% increase in trial unit staffing. The App promotes collaboration and financial stability of trial units.

What challenges have you come up against in developing your health innovation? What motivated you to keep going?

Building a recruitment model that is collaborative has been one of the main challenges in establishing ClinTrial Refer. Breaking down the silos of communication between institutions and clinicians and encouraging the adoption of a more unified approach to recruitment had some inherent tests attached to the task.
We have demonstrated that specialists do use ClinTrial Refer to cross-refer and this is supporting new collegiality and reciprocity in cross-referral.
The motivation for persisting came from our solid belief that this method of referral and access to current trial information would benefit doctors and sites and that all patients should have access to medications and other therapeutic interventions in their development phase.

“Collaboration is the key to success and we see consumers as partners in health innovations of the future.”

What is one thing the public could do to help your innovation to succeed?

The public could help support ClinTrial Refer by downloading the App and sharing it with family and friends and letting their health care professional know about the App as an available resource. The success of the ClinTrial Refer platform increases when there is uptake at both a community and Industry level. Collaboration is the key to success and we see consumers as partners in health innovations of the future.

What is the next step for your innovation?

ClinTrial Refer will be launching Version 2 upgrades to the current platform in November 2018. Currently, the ClinTrial Refer network Apps can be downloaded individually. The Version 2 upgrade will deliver an integrated platform for housing current Apps into a single digital platform that enables expansion into all disciplines and geographical areas. Users will have access to a global search function and the option to search by discipline. The platform will be linked to the ANZCTR which will save sites time on manual entry of study information.
Future plans also include the ability for sites to upload Investigator CV’s and site capabilities. This feature will allow local and International Sponsors access to current and active Investigators, and it will provide sites with the ability to showcase their capabilities

What are the benefits of developing your innovation in Australia?

Australia is an innovation hub and it has a strong reputation for the quality of its scientific and medical research. Australia has a world-class research infrastructure and high standards that ensure confidence in scientific outcomes from clinical trials conducted in Australia.
ClinTrial Refer is honoured to be part of a scientific and medical research community that is receptive to new technologies that can facilitate better practice outcomes. Australia has provided a strong and supportive foundation for ClinTrial Refer to model its innovation nationally and beyond through programs such as MTPConnects Project Fund program. MTPConnect is a Medtech and pharma growth centre that is dedicated to establishing Australia as a hub for Medtech companies and is just one example of the support available to companies like ClinTrial Refer.

ClinTrial Refer is one of twelve Australian health innovations being showcased by Health Horizon at the 2018 World Hospital Congress in Brisbane. Find out more about our diverse Innovation Alley cohort here.

Heading to WHC? Be sure to check out the Health Horizon Innovation Alley Stands 65–70. Chat and learn more about our great cohort, search our 1000+ database of Australian innovations, and add your own innovations to our growing global database.

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