Columbia Research Group is proud to partner with Peer Health in an innovative approach to improving health outcomes and bringing new life-saving drugs to market.
As online healthcare forums and healthcare websites proliferate, people are finding it harder to connect with others just like themselves and find relevant information about their health, including new clinical trials for drugs that could benefit them. Groups on large social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have a “one-size-fits-all” approach that doesn’t work for most people. For example, Type-2 Diabetes patients cover a wide spectrum, ranging from Pre-Diabetics with slightly elevated Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) to patients with complicated diabetes who have HbA1C of 10% or higher, and several complications like Nephropathy, Neuropathy and Foot Ulcers. Therapies, tactics, and advice that works for people on one end of the spectrum may not be very useful to people with a widely different disease stage and progression.
This is where Peer Health’s approach is different. Peer Health creates a match score (between 0 and 5) that measures how close a user is to others from a clinical perspective. Users first create their own personalized peer groups with people most like themselves (Match score of 4 or higher). Next, users have health care conversations that are tailored for their circumstance on any given day and are presented with news articles and clinical trials that are most relevant to them.
Given the crucial role of clinical trials we were dismayed that, among all the patients who could benefit from a clinical trial, but did not participate, 65% were not even aware of the appropriate trial. Increasing the patients’ clinical trial awareness is of paramount importance. This is easier said than done. Navigating all the inclusion/exclusion criteria for a clinical trial and determining which one is the most appropriate can be challenging even for healthcare professionals, leave alone the patients. Furthermore, there is also a question of trust. Per a study by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), only 40% of Americans have a positive impression of clinical trials. Clear information about clinical trials from folks like Columbia Research Group’s FAQ page can go a long way to informing patients. Furthermore, recommendations from other peers most like themselves within Peer Health help increase the patient’s trust and ability to find the right trial.