Here’s how to cure the world of disease 50% faster

Faster cures for more diseases. That sounds like a good thing, right? Clinical trials are often where a new drug or treatment meet success or failure as rigorous tests are done to ensure efficacy and measure side effects. Filling clinical trials with appropriate test subjects is a lengthy and expensive process but these trials are required before a meditation can be sold to consumers.

Hmm, sounds like a matching problem: how do we get the right trials in front of eligible subjects?
A few years back I was really pleased to discover that the US National Institute of Health maintains as a clearinghouse of federally funded and private trials. Today they have more than 112,000 trials listed in 175 countries. Wow, that’s a lot of trials just waiting to be filled in order to judge whether or not it’s a successful treatment protocol. Imagine if we could just fill these trials 50% faster – would that lead to more rapid success and failure discovery for pre-release drugs? And ultimately cures?
This is the question I asked myself while also wondering how Google Health could play a role in connecting eligible subjects with the appropriate test. Turned out it was really just some best practice work with the ClinicalTrials team to try and ensure Google was properly crawling and ranking the test information in our search index.
While that was a positive first step I think there’s room to better connect people with this data. Where is our Hipmunk for clinical trials? A beautiful intuitive interface to this valuable data. They have a XML API so it’s all waiting for you. You could be the developer who helps to speed the path to the next big cure – maybe you can help solve a disease that impacts, or has even taken the life of, someone you know and love.

3 thoughts on “Here’s how to cure the world of disease 50% faster

  1. This is interesting. My mother works in clinical research, and has worked on projects for medical devices as well as pharma.

    The dynamics of the industry are interesting. It's really up to the individual doctors to get patients into studies, and there's a huge spectrum of motivation amongst them. Some really recruit a bunch of patients into trials; with others it's like pulling teeth.

    This is definitely an industry with a lot of revenue, but there might be some hurdles around creating a sustainable business considering some of the ethical, legal, and insurance tangles associated with the US health care system. As I understand it, the organizations who do clinical research now financially support doctors who bring in new patients; I don't know if a Hipmunk for clinical trials would positively disrupt an industry, or if they'd end up beating their head against the wall of entrenched interests.

    Great find!

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