Healthcare professionals are fighting COVID-19. We’re here to support the logistics of clinical trials recruitment

By Sachin Aggarwal, CEO, Think Research

Today, Think Research helped launch Covidtrials.ca. It’s the first website in Canada that’s designed as a hub to match patients with COVID-19 clinical trials. It’s an innovation that should help researchers in Canada connect with the volunteers they need and accelerate their urgent, important work to lead us to a viable treatment or vaccine for this disease.

This idea first started coming together just weeks ago.

We acquired a company called Airmed Trials that offers a platform to help researchers organize their clinical trials. We came to know its founder, Dr. Ramy Saleh, just as COVID-19 started to take hold in Canada. 

Dr. Saleh is a medical oncologist who is currently working on one of the COVID-19 clinical trials out of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. He noticed an emerging need in his research community.

To be successful, these trials have to recruit thousands of Canadians. People who have been exposed to COVID-19 but show no symptoms. People who have the illness and are convalescing at home. People who have fully recovered from the disease. The list goes on. Every trial needs people who fit a very specific profile. 

So how do you find these people? And how do these people find the researchers? All while practicing physical distancing?

Dr. Saleh told us he was approached by patients who wanted to participate in a clinical trial. They didn’t know where to go or even where to start looking. Our Canadian healthcare professionals are doing an admirable job of handling this crisis. The system is rightly focused on addressing the urgent needs in front of them. When it comes to logistics — well, that’s where Canadian health technology innovators can help. 

Working with Dr. Saleh, we’ve helped design a hub to simplify the patient recruitment process. We’re doing everything we can to make connections happen faster and more easily. Our goal is to help the amazing Canadian researchers who are working tirelessly right now on such an important mission.

Prospective volunteers can visit the CovidTrials.ca website and fill out an online registration form with their information. That data is then shared securely with the appropriate research teams, who can then contact the person directly if their profile matches the needs of the trial. 

All of the information is stored on a secure cloud platform, housed in Canada. The portal’s governance is overseen by a medical leadership group made up of physicians from across the country.

Covidtrials.ca is completely not-for-profit. It’s safe and secure. And it’s ready to go.

For more information, read the press release in English or French, or visit the website Covidtrials.ca.

(Stay tuned for an expanded version of the Covid trials website next week!)