ClinTrial Refer, an app that connects patients up to clinical trials, has updated their platform to provide support for COVID-19 Trials.

As for all diseases, the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic treatments hinges on the completion of successful clinical trials.

In February, it became clear that the urgency of COVID-19 required a quick response, and the team moved into action – getting a dedicated, free platform for COVID-19 trials up-and-running by the end of March.

By providing a dedicated platform for COVID trials, ClinTrial Refer aimed to support active trials and their recruitment activities, as well as to help avoid duplication by providing visibility for researchers about what trials were currently underway.

“Awareness of and access to trials are key to being able to advance clinical care through research, and that’s what we aim to do,” said ClinTrial Refer Co-founder, and Head of Department, Haematology at Concord Hospital, Professor Judith Trotman.

“The support from Sydney Health Partners has been invaluable, it’s been a real enabler and will allow us to take the next step in the ClinTrial Refer journey,” she said. 

Now in its seventh year, ClinTrial Refer creates and maintains up-to-date databases of clinical trials which are currently recruiting patients, facilitated through a free-to-download mobile app making it easier for patients or their doctors to find a suitable trial.

Sydney Health Partners has long supported the platform, providing two rounds of funding to the group to support the development and advancement of both versions of the application.

Clinical trials are the backbone of medical research; not only do they provide a key link between basic scientific research and full implementation, they also give patients access to new treatments and therapeutics with the potential to deliver better results than current standards of practice.

Despite this, the process of running clinical trials is far from smooth with, at one end, fragmented and incongruous site requirements that delay the setting up of trials, and at the other end, difficulties recruiting and maintaining patient participation. Research shows that up to 90 per cent of trials are delayed due to failure to meet recruitment targets.