U.S. and Israeli groups team to sync medical, clinical trials software

A lot of people think joining digital patient records and clinical trial databases could save time and money, but efforts to combine the two have stalled or died. Now Target Health and LifeOnKey have embarked on a collaboration to at least do this with their own software offerings.

The two companies won $900,000 from the Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) to support their effort to develop an "electronic bridge" between the companies' software. The work is expected to link electronic health records (EHR) software from LifeOnKey--which has research operations in Israel--and electronic data capture (EDC) software from New York-based Target Health.

Most clinical trials use EDC software nowadays, and EHR adoption has soared in the U.S. with the help of subsidies from Uncle Sam. In some cases, EHRs contain data that could be useful in clinical trials. For instance, basic patient information has use in patient recruitment for trials. Yet there are challenges to using data from an EHR in the clinical trial. One big one is that the quality of data from digital patient records might not meet the strict requirements of a clinical trial.

"LifeOnKey is joining forces with Target Health to bring to the market the first integrated system to enable clinical research to be part of the revolution in health information systems," said Dr. Linda Harnevo, CEO of LifeOnKey, in a statement.

Medical records offer a wealth of "real-world" data on patient experiences that are often overlooked in traditional clinical trials. GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), for example, has developed software to use medical records in Salford, U.K., as part of a first-of-its-kind trial of the COPD/asthma drug Relvar.

LifeOnKey and Target Health noted that the combined system they plan will adhere to the requirements of technology required for postmarketing surveillance systems that have found plenty of action as regulators seek more data on drugs after approvals.

- here's the release