Irish oncology app launches search engine for clinical trials

The new feature aims to assist oncology clinicians in finding cancer trials and participants.
By Tammy Lovell
03:41 AM

Irish app firm ONCOassist has launched a clinical trial search engine in partnership with clinical trial organisation Cancer Trials Ireland. 

The search engine feature will be added to the ONCOassist app, which enables oncology clinicians to access relevant, up-to-date tools and content via their smart devices.  

A huge demand for a search engine tool was identified from engaging with the company’s community of more than 13,000 users across 170 countries and close collaboration with Cancer Trials Ireland

The search engine was funded by €25,000 from the Health Service Executive, which provides Ireland’s public health services in hospitals and the community. The amount was awarded under the QIC digital innovation programme, which is designed to open up innovation pathways for clinicians to seek seed-funding for creative digital solutions.

Other features on the ONCOassist app include adjuvant tools, formulas, prognostic scores, common toxicity criteria for adverse events, drug information and a drug intervention checker.

The clinical trials search engine is now available across Ireland and aims to scale globally.

WHY IT MATTERS

With more than 70 active cancer trials currently in Ireland, this tool aims to make it easier for oncology healthcare practitioners to find trials and participants.

Traditionally trials are advertised on the Clinicaltrails.gov website, which lists privately and publicly funded studies conducted around the world, but ONCOassist says that often information in the database is out of date or incomplete.

The search engine aims to make it easier to search for trials reducing the amount of study costs spent on recruiting patients to take part in trials, make it easier to refer patients for trials by including specific site information and raise awareness about undersubscribed trials.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Oncology-focused platforms have become increasingly popular in the digital health space. In July, British cancer-focused tech startup Vine Health announced £1.2 million in seed funding would be used to develop its platform.

Finnish health data science startup Kaiku Health recently teamed up with Amgen to partner on a digital symptom tracking for multiple myeloma,  a type of bone marrow cancer.

Meanwhile, US artificial intelligence (AI) platform tech firm Precision Health AI recently announced a new platform, called Eureka Health Oncology, which uses electronic medical record (EMR) data to provide practical AI applications for real oncology use cases.

ON THE RECORD

ONCOassist cofounder and CEO Eoin O’Carroll said: “We are constantly striving to contribute to the cancer care community within Ireland and abroad, and the new clinical trials search engine does exactly that. By identifying this need we are able to collaborate with our peers to bring a solution-focused approach that is improving cancer patient care.” 

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