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UCLH clinical trial database featured in Digital Health

Find a Study – UCLH’s new clinical trials database developed to provide equitable access to research and boost study recruitment at the Trust – has been featured in the online magazine Digital Health.

The database has been designed to use structured clinical terminology to match available clinical trials to diagnosed conditions in patients’ electronic medical records – the first time this has been done in the NHS.

Trials available to individual patients will also be suggested from within UCLH’s electronic patient record system.

The database is publicly available at https://findastudy.uclh.nhs.uk/, and users can search for available trials for particular conditions.

Find a Study has been developed by a team led by Dr Wai Keong Wong, consultant haematologist and chief research information officer at UCLH.

Dr Wong told Digital Health that UCLH researchers will now be able to tell anyone interested in research at the Trust: “this is the best way to find a study at UCLH.”

Find a Study runs on a platform known as Keytrials – also developed by Dr Wong’s team – which could be used by other NHS Trusts to run their own versions of Find a Study.

“We built the Keytrials platform to be very scalable and there’s no reason it couldn’t scale to the whole of the NHS,” Dr Wong said.

He said Keytrials could easily be deployed in other NHS organisations as it has been developed as an open platform that uses IT standards that are well known in clinical informatics.

UCLH has one of the largest commercial clinical trials portfolios of any NHS trust.

Dr Nick McNally, managing director of research at UCLH/UCL, said: “We know we could be recruiting many more patients to clinical trials and the way to do that is to make our trials portfolio more accessible and more transparent.”

He added that there is currently a resurgence of interest in research transparency in England.

“This is a tool for improving research transparency and for embedding research within NHS trusts by making it much easier for anyone to look up the studies that might be suitable for our patients,” he said.

“There is good evidence that research active organisations generally achieve better outcomes for their patients, and that’s not just for the patients who consent to take part in research. It appears that there is some intrinsic quality factor within research active trusts, relating to their ability to attract the best staff and procure the best facilities.”

Read the full article on Digital Health.

View the Find a Study database.