Epic launches program for clinical trial matchmaking in effort to expand access to marginalized participants

EHR giant Epic launched a new life sciences program aimed at facilitating clinical trial matchmaking. 

The program will work with providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to recruit participants for research, expand trial access to underrepresented communities and speed up the development of new therapies. Its aim is to connect the disparate parts of the healthcare system, according to a press release

"The Life Sciences program is designed to create a seamless connection between participant patients, healthcare providers and research sponsors through the use of a single system," Alan Hutchison, vice president at Epic, said in the press release. "Unifying clinical research with care delivery and building a direct connection to study sponsors will help accelerate the development of new therapies by making studies more efficient, more accessible, and more effective."

Providers currently rely on Epic to oversee more than 100,000 studies with 4.7 million patients, according to the company. But existing barriers like poor communication discourage stakeholders from engaging in trials, the announcement noted. 

To help combat these issues, Epic will match participating providers with clinical trial opportunities, offer providers customized Cosmos data queries, make trials more accessible by mitigating staffing barriers, increase efficiency by minimizing repetitive tasks, connect stakeholders through one system and support clinicians with data on when patients might qualify for a trial. 

"The first stage of the Life Sciences program, clinical trial matchmaking, is available today and provider organizations in the Epic community are already signing up," Seth Howard, vice president of research and development at Epic, said in the announcement. 

"By accurately matching these organizations with clinical trials suited to their patients, researchers will be able to recruit more effectively and help ensure that clinical trials benefit from more representative populations," Howard said. "Ultimately, our shared goal is to help patients access life-changing therapies sooner by reducing friction throughout the clinical trial lifecycle."