Mednet wins NSF Grant

InteliSpark client Mednet, Inc. has been awarded a grant from the NSF for their Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I project, “An Online Peer-to-Peer Resource for Oncologists to Improve Clinical Trial Knowledge and Enrollment”. Mednet will focus on putting forth a solution to the problem of clinical trial enrollment. They will do so by improving awareness of clinical trials with physicians through technology that matches physician questions to relevant clinical trials via an online interactive social decision platform.

Currently, patient enrollment is significantly weak in the development pipeline and a pain point for organizations that sponsor clinical trials. More than two-thirds of trials sites reportedly fail to meet enrollment goals for a given trial, and up to 45% of study delays are due to enrollment difficulties. Lost revenues can be accounted for nearly $1 million per day. Clinical trials are a critical link between scientific discovery and changes in clinical practice that advance prevention, treatments, and cures for diseases and disability. Awareness of trials among physicians is key to increasing clinical trial enrollment, which furthermore is essential in advancing health care practice as well as patient health and quality of life.

Mednet plans to address this problem by use of their innovation, combining a credible online social platform with powerful natural language processing technology and machine learning techniques to deliver customized clinical trial information to physicians in their decision-making process. With the grant money from the NSF, Mednet will be able to build a prototype to match clinical trial information to relevant physician questions, and conduct a pilot assessment of clinical trial knowledge pre- and post-use. They will create natural language processing (NLP) technology to match clinical questions to related clinical trials so that physicians learn about clinical trials at the time they are seeking information on how to best treat their patients. The success of their Phase I project will result in a user-friendly platform that matches clinical questions to oncologists and relevant, open clinical trials, and will establish the technical and commercial feasibility of their concept.