German drug maker and Carebox Healthcare Solutions announced the launch of MyStudyWindow, a digital platform available for patients, families, caregivers, and doctors to learn more about Boehringer Ingelheim studies by offering information in an easy-to-access and understandable way. The privately held Germany company leveraged Carebox’s expertise in study matching based on patient eligibility criteria while they brought their own extensive scientific capabilities to the partnership to pursue innovation on behalf of patients around the world.
What is MyStudyWindow?
It represents the first step in a multi-faceted, longer-term plan to develop a next-generation platform empowering patients who consider participating in or learning about Boehringer Ingelheim studies and research—not to mention support doctors in their quest to find additional drug information.
The company reported that it employed a patient-centric approach to designing this digital platform—using lay friendly language, educational content, and user-friendly features that offer guidance; for example, users can select from a range of condition-specific questionnaires to anonymously answer questions about a patient’s diagnosis, disease stage, and treatment history.
MyStudyWindow instantly matches the user to potentially relevant clinical studies from the Boehringer Ingelheim portfolio, suggests nearby study site locations, and provides guidance on contacting the site for next steps. For studies that Boehringer Ingelheim would conduct in the future, patients will have the opportunity to provide feedback on their research experience, a further step towards clinical trial democratization. The functions are facilitated by artificial intelligence powered automation, which enables Carebox to continuously curate and structure eligibility criteria for Boehringer Ingelheim clinical trials.
The Industry Challenge
Increasing patient and doctor awareness of clinical study opportunities and improving access is an industry challenge. Often times, a lack of awareness leads to potential issues for up to 75 percent of investigators who fail to enroll the target number of participants. Furthermore, this impediment leads to as much as 90 percent of all clinical trials worldwide failing to enroll patients within the target amount of time and must extend their enrollment period. The parties involved in healthcare innovation increasingly recognize the role of patients and caregivers as key stakeholders in clinical research. Boehringer Ingelheim believes that the empowerment of patients and caregivers can be beneficial for study recruitment and help them to go into an informed dialogue, especially those living with rare diseases.
But What about Trust?
A key challenge that drug makers, health systems and associated institutions involved with health care and research face include a significant lack of trust among patient populations and their communities. Although there are many noble attempts to bring patient and trial together for example, the underlying issues of trust are not necessarily addressed by technology or even one pharmaceutical company attempting to simplify and streamline its medical information. A broader movement is afoot, however, to democratize healthcare information in general and clinical research in particular. As more well-intentioned drug companies, health systems, research centers and professional societies understand the importance of essentially establishing a whole new paradigm for conveying medical information, the 97% of patients that don’t participate in trials will start to.