Guided walkthrough: Faceted Search 4

We’re happy to see people using our Clinical Collections tool.  Clinical Collections allows you easy access to the vast amounts of clinical trials data housed in We’ve enhanced the user experience to data so you can find and group trials in ways you can’t through the native interface, by using targeted search and filtering.

When building Clinical Collections, we aimed to enable clinical researchers to better understand the existing research and accelerate their own research.  This can come through identifying comparable trials, designs and operational plans such as country participation.

Utilizing faceted search and filtering

Once you find a set of data that match your initial search, our Clinical Collections tool adds several layers that allow you filter the 125,000 or so trials down to the exact subset of trials that pertain to your exact needs.

To illustrate how to use faceted search, this guide will be an annotated walk-through of the search and filtering process.

In this instance, let’s start with an initial search for Tuberculosis-related trials.

Initial Search

As you can see, the tool is already giving suggestions as I type in the tuberculosis search term. Related searches such as Pulmonary medical conditions and meningitis pop up to help you refine your search from the get-go. More…

Who Is Jerry Matczak? 8

Jerry Matczak is the Community Manager for the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation Team, responsible for connecting people to the team’s efforts. He has a BA in English & Philosophy from Allegheny College and a MS degree in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

His IT experience at Eli Lilly combined with a variety of sales, marketing and technology roles in startup and consulting environments provide a diverse set of experiences that help him join people & technology.  Jerry is equal part translator, sense-maker, community-builder and networker, with a common-sense understanding of technology and people.

You have degrees in English and Philosophy as well as Information Science. What ties those together?

In high school my friends and I did a lot of reading, talking and thinking – you know, solving the world’s problems in the basement. We had a strong bent towards the arts, humanities and academia, and, to some degree, a bit of disregard for business and the “real world.” So, I got my English and Philosophy degree and entered the workforce.  I worked multiple jobs in bars and restaurants, department stores, on a sound crew for Pittsburgh’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and for the University of Pittsburgh.

Then, I met some people enrolled in Pitt’s Information Science program. The program had a technology and information foundation, but required cognitive science and humanities credits to get in. I got interested, applied, and was accepted. I learned about technology and computer science, but more importantly I became attuned to the people aspect of information management. I started to see how information affects lives.

A Physician’s Tale (and video guide) Reply

Last week we had the privilege to sit down with a physician who shared challenges in planning a clinical trial. She had been working for years on this trial, and continued to face resource consuming and frustrating issues. Recently she attended a two hour meeting where some basic questions were left unanswered, and – even more frustrating – the traditional paths to getting those answers were not promising.

One, she was struggling to find subjects to qualify for the trial. Two, she was wondering about what investigator sites might be appropriate.

She knew that there were others who were conducting trials on this disease, but couldn’t quickly and easily get at key information about those trials. If she could find the right trials and learn about the investigator sites used, it could help her with strategies to find potential sites and qualified subjects.

Enter Clinical Collections. More…

Get To Know Barry Crist 5

Barry Crist is the Lead Investigator for the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation Team. Barry has spent his career leveraging information to transform the way people do work.  He is a technologist, an architect, a seeker, a problem solver – and has a passion-fueled vision that drives a unique ability to make big ideas come to life. 

What personally drew you to the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation project?

Taking information or knowledge and making it useful has been my whole career – making information better so that people’s lives will be better. I’ve seen it work.

For many years, I worked at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site.  This is a 300 square-mile facility with multiple nuclear reactors and chemical processing facilities.  It was my job to digitize half a million paper engineering drawings (blueprints, essentially) and make them smarter.  This gave engineers and scientists immediate access to digitized knowledge about the massive facilities – where is a valve, what’s connected to a panel.  You can imagine why that’s important.

Prior to that, people had to request the prints, search through them…it took a long time to get the job done.

In pharma development, the “drawings” are the clinical trials. In their current state, they’re a big pile of poorly digitized, unstructured, disconnected papers, files and databases.  If the end at Eli Lilly is, “Let’s develop products that make people’s lives better and improve their health,” then the means to that end, for me, is to develop those products faster and better. And we can do that – if we manage the knowledge better. And managing the knowledge better, as I learned at the DOE, starts with digitization.