Health · Healthcare

Tribulations of trials

Tom Giesberg Founder at Voxgift

April 30th, 2014

Anyone working in healthcare know if there exists a match making service between health technology providers that want to trial their product and health services providers willing to conduct trials? Something along the lines of http://www.pilothealthtechnyc.com/  -The program seeks to match early-stage health or healthcare technology companies ('innovators') with key NYC healthcare service organizations and stakeholders ('hosts'), including hospitals, physician clinics, payors, pharma companies, nursing associations, major employers and retailers - but with a national or international focus as opposed to one city?

If not, would you be interested in such a service if it worked something like the NYC program mixed with AngelList mixed with LinkedIn and/or a dating site? 

Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD

April 30th, 2014

Hi Tom,
I am not sure I get what "the NYC program mixed with AngelList mixed with LinkedIn and/or a dating site" means. But if you mean connecting sponsors (health technology providers that want to trial their products) and PIs/sites (health services providers willing to conduct trials), there are companies that offer such services, so there is demand. Now maybe you can provide a better service because one of the major problems in the clinical trial process is PIs not enrolling patients fast enough. This extends the clinical trial and ultimately leads to delays in getting FDA approval and time on the market , which costs millions of dollars.If you could find a way to consistently identify PIs that would enroll on time, that would solve a pain point in the process.

Tom Giesberg Founder at Voxgift

May 1st, 2014

Thanks for the reply, Dr. Adegbola. 

> I am not sure I get what "the NYC program mixed with AngelList
> mixed with LinkedIn and/or a dating site" means. 

I was envisioning a service where participants would be divided into two groups, to borrow the terminology from the NYC program, lets call them ‘innovators' and 'hosts’. Innovators would list their products and what problem it solves, for example:

  1. Patient to provider communications app that improves patient satisfaction
  2. Device that attaches to in-room sink to improve hand-hygiene
  3. Service to data mine social media posts in order to improve patient satisfaction

And hosts would be listed by a general description and what problems they are trying to solve, for examples:

  1. Urban 500-bed hospital located in California looking to decrease secondary infections
  2. Rural LTAC facility in Arizona looking to improve patient satisfaction score
  3. Nursing school in Texas wanting to improve student hygiene practices

The hosts would be able to search for and contact innovators regarding testing their solutions. The hosts may not want to openly admit what their problem areas are nor get inundated with requests, so they could choose to remain anonymous except to the innovators of their choice.

> But if you mean connecting sponsors .. there are companies
> that offer such services, so there is demand.

I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but I did find what I would call full-service, clinical trial consultants. A lot of innovators cannot get funds to hire a consultant until they can show investors that there is market interest in their product. Having a trial or two under your belt or at least signed letters-of-intent proves market interest. 

These consultants also seemed to concentrate on traditional trials with patients as participants. In the examples I gave above, I purposely mixed up patient trials with staff trials. Which brings up the question, if there are no patients involved, is it still a clinical trial or does the medical community treat it differently?

> If you could find a way to consistently identify PIs that would 
> enroll on time, that would solve a pain point in the process.

Tracking sponsors on how well they do enrolling patients on time would definitely be a good metric.

Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD

May 1st, 2014

I understand your business better, but I am not able to say if there is enough demand to build a business upon. I suggest an informal survey, perhaps calling hospital administrators, to gauge the level of interest.
If there are no patients involved, it is not a "clinical" trial.

Robert Woodburn Founder at Oncuray LLC

November 5th, 2016

Hi Tom,

Did you ever find a service that matches hosts with innovators in health care?  

Bob

Tom Giesberg Founder at Voxgift

November 5th, 2016

Hi Bob,

No, I never did find anything like that. Please let me know if you or anyone else has found anything like that -- I could use it for another project that I am working on.

Thanks,
Tom