The Lilly COI API and TrialReach: A Story of Innovation 19

tomThe following blog post is by Tom Krohn. Tom is the Chief Development Officer for TrialReach and is responsible for business development including clinical trial sponsor relationships, patient advocacy groups and research institutions. He has 25 years of experience across different sectors in health including large pharma, hospital & retail pharmacy, and the developing world. Most recently, Tom led the Clinical Open Innovation team at Eli Lilly with a focus on patient engagement, open data and business transformation. Tom is passionate about serving patients from their point-of-view while building sustainable and highly effective organizations.

Everyone Has a Story

Everyone has a story.  You.  Me.  Innovation.

About four years ago, a small group of Lilly employees started work on open innovation with a focus on improving public information to accelerate medical innovation. Barry Crist and I wrote a whitepaper that outlined a vision for clinical knowledge generation becoming participatory for all in the clinical research ecosystem, especially patients.  Participatory—that is the essence of an open network. It is at the core of open innovation.

With executive sponsorship and a case for action, we took these ideas and developed an open API which launched in 2012. We put Creative Commons copyleft licensing on the API to remove the friction that is the norm of the life-science industry. Then, open innovation happened.

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Bringing Clinical Trials To the ePatient 1

patient and clinician looking at tablet, digital health, mobile health, epatient

hGraph: patient + clinician looking together by Kelly Mansfield is licensed under CC by 2.0

ePatients—patients who are well-informed and empowered by digital technology and see themselves as equal partners with their doctors and healthcare providers—are on their way to becoming more the norm than the exception. For example, according to a recent Pew Research study, 72 percent of Internet users said they had looked up health information in the past year.

Another often-quoted statistic about the current state of clinical trials tells us that only 16 percent of cancer patients surveyed are aware that clinical trials are an option. This could indicate that we are missing opportunities to increase awareness about clinical trials through digital technology and online resources. In a time where 30 percent of trials never get off the ground because they fail to enroll enough patients, we can’t afford to miss these opportunities any longer.  Bringing information about clinical trials to ePatients is important in expanding healthcare options and getting better treatments to the public faster.

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