Online database helps Albertans enrol in clinical trials

Research is helping develop new treatments, strategies and surgeries, doctor says.

The University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have teamed up for a campaign encouraging Albertans to sign up for clinical trials.

Dr. Michael Hill is Joint Lead on the new Pragmatic Clinical Trials Platform, pictured in the neuro-angiography suite where endovascular therapy is performed. Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

By Ryan Rumbolt, CBC News Calgary January 09, 2018

With hundreds of clinical trials already underway in the province, the Be the Cure campaign is using an online database to connect patients, doctors and researchers to find ways to detect diseases and test new treatments.

Dr. Michael Hill told the Homestretch how clinical trials are making advancements in medicine and how Albertans can get involved.

The following is an excerpt from that interview:

What are clinical trials and why are they important?
Clinical trials are the way we asses and understand new treatments, diagnostic strategies or surgeries in medicine to know if they’re actually effective in treating patients.

And there are different tiers or level of trials before new treatments are accepted for routine use.

How man clinical trials are going on in the province at any given time?
Hundreds. We function both as a site [for trials run out of province] …and in other cases, we’re the organizing site where we’re the ones recruiting other hospitals to run trials that we want to do.
How has this new online tool changed how people sign up for trials?
It very much depends on the details of the trial.

Clinical trials are a big organizational effort and so management of information and getting access to people is critical.

In the province we are part of a national strategy called the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research, or SPOR …and so we’re trying to organize information so that physicians know what trials are ongoing and also so patients know.

So we want patients to register, we want physicians to know what’s going on and then, if we can sum it up, what’s happening nationally.

How long has this been up and running and what’s been the response?
Well it’s gradually picking up momentum. I learned that we’ve had 3,000 hits on the website last week.

We’re trying to build this in tiers so we’re trying to link all these things together. So we’ll have connections where patients can be involved but we also need to connect the researchers, we need to connect people in the hospitals.

Is there potential for this to be expanded beyond Alberta?
I think it’s building on what’s happening globally.

Certainly when we’re leading clinical trials, we look internationally for sites and hospitals that would be interested in participating. That also applies to patients.

To find out more about clinical trials happening in Alberta, visit www.bethecure.ca.

Source CBC News

Door To Needle Time Improvement. Dr. Michael Hill, Stroke Neurologist. Alberta Innovates Team Lead, QuICR. Alberta Innovates. Published on Youtube Mar 8, 2017

Also see
Canadian stroke trial delivers dramatically improved patient outcomes in Alberta Innovates
Calgary doctor who founded country’s first stroke, ALS research programs, named to Order of Canada in CBC News
QuICR – Quality Improvement & Clinical Research, Alberta Stroke Program in University of Calgary
Canada, Europe Surpass U.S. in Published Surgical Research in Medscape

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