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Unleashing the Potential of Clinical Trials in Manchester

Blog, Greater Manchester
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Collaboration and Cutting-Edge Technologies:
Unleashing the Potential of Clinical Trials with North West EHealth

NWEH is strategically located at Manchester Science Park and is at the forefront of transforming clinical trials. With the infusion of cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches, they're not just conducting trials but reshaping them. Under the leadership of visionary CEO Jonathan Wogel, NWEH has successfully streamlined trials across diverse areas, from diabetes and cardiovascular disease to dermatology and more.

In a candid conversation, Jonathan and Chief Medical Officer Martin Gibson shed light on their flagship services, FARSITE and ConneXon. These aren't just tools; they're revolutionary platforms that accelerate patient recruitment and optimise trial execution. They're not merely addressing the challenges of traditional trials but are also setting new benchmarks, pushing the boundaries of global healthcare innovation.

How does the power of collaboration with academics, clinicians, and industry drive the company to new heights?

For NWEH, collaboration isn't just a strategy; it's in our DNA. By forging strong ties with academics and industry experts, we gain invaluable insights and unparalleled access to expertise. This collaborative ethos enhances our offerings, ensuring we can deliver transformative therapies to those who need them most, and do so at an unprecedented speed.

In the ever-evolving landscape of clinical trials, we've witnessed remarkable advancements in technology, particularly in remote technologies. How have they benefited NWEH, and what does the future hold in this exciting technological journey?

The rapid advancements in technology, especially the increasing reliance on remote technologies in the past few years, have truly played a pivotal role in our organisation. While many companies struggled during the COVID lockdown, we experienced a remarkable growth period. Our expertise in leveraging remote technologies allowed us to adapt swiftly and offer digital and remote trials to both customers and patients. In fact, we are currently conducting a study where we work with COVID patients in their own homes to deliver clinical trials. These innovative technologies empower us to embrace decentralised clinical trials, eliminating the need for large groups of people in a single location. Instead, we can efficiently collect high-quality data from participants spread across different geographical areas, maintaining the same level of excellence expected from traditional trials.

Can you share any exciting opportunities you envision for your organisation using AI and your thoughts on the potential benefits of AI in the biotech industry? 

AI isn't just a buzzword for NWEH; it's a powerful tool. It enables us to dive deep into data, extract meaningful insights, and assist life sciences companies in our relentless pursuit of cures. The role of AI in the swift development of new medicines such as COVID vaccines is a testament to its potential, and its trajectory in healthcare is set to increase exponentially. Our state-of-the-art, AI-driven software tools have enabled us to recruit an impressive 19,000 patients into trials with many of these being pragmatic, community-based real-world studies which are so relevant to everyday care.

What does success look like for NWEH?

It's about delivering unparalleled UK-based clinical trials, ensuring life-changing drugs reach the market swiftly, and nurturing our exceptional team of over 100 professionals. Our ambition doesn't stop there; we’re eyeing global horizons and expanding our technology internationally.

Being located in Manchester Science Park, the heart of Europe’s largest clinical academic campus, offers us unparalleled advantages. The proximity to top-tier institutions like The University of Manchester provides us with a rich reservoir of expertise. Moreover, the partnership with the NHS's Strategic Data Environments is a game-changer, potentially helping us to expand our offering to millions of patients.

How does being based at the heart of Europe’s largest clinical academic campus and the city’s innovation district at Manchester Science Park support the growth of your business? 

Our location serves as an ideal foundation for our operations and the strategic importance of our location cannot be overstated. Whether we require the expertise of a computer science specialist at The University of Manchester or a clinician with specific trial knowledge at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, having these resources readily available on our doorstep greatly impacts our day-to-day work. The supportive environment Bruntwood SciTech provides fosters growth and tremendous opportunities, and with esteemed institutions like the University and several hospitals in close proximity, we have strong connections and a local heritage that anchors us to Manchester. 

Being in Manchester puts us at the forefront of the clinical trial evolution in the UK. The NHS has opened up four, what they call Strategic Data Environments, SDEs, and the two that have come alive first are in London and Manchester - which is located in the same innovation district that we’re in, and we’re fortunate to have been chosen to partner on both. Becoming a partner in the SDEs is a pivotal initiative in our growth strategy for the next five years as it expands our reach of potential participants for clinical trials.This groundbreaking endeavour by the NHS aims to enhance access to patient records across various geographies, opening new avenues for research and innovation. 

How does North West EHealth set itself apart as a solution provider in the face of ongoing challenges in the traditional clinical trials industry? 

We stand out from other clinical trial delivery companies in multiple ways. Our focus on health code inclusivity ensures that our cohort is not only extensive but also diverse, providing rich and inclusive data and enabling us to provide meaningful outcomes. Secondly, our use of innovative software tools, driven by machine learning and AI, enables us to identify and recruit high-quality cohorts more efficiently. This sets us apart significantly from our competitors, as we consistently deliver well-defined cohorts and ensure a high level of patient engagement and participation.

Our clinical delivery team also works closely with GPs to ensure that patients have a seamless and positive experience throughout the trial process. This collaborative approach fosters a supportive environment, ensuring that patients receive the necessary care and attention during their participation. 

Collectively, these distinguishing factors - health code inclusivity, innovative software tools, and a dedicated clinical delivery team - position North West EHealth as a leader in the industry. Our commitment to excellence in trial delivery sets us apart and enables us to provide outstanding patient experiences while achieving faster, more efficient outcomes.

How did the Covid pandemic impact the development and management of clinical trials? 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a significant shift in the perception and approach to clinical trials. While we were already exploring remote and virtual trials, the pandemic acted as a catalyst, accelerating their adoption. The limitations on in-person interactions compelled the industry to embrace these alternative methods, and our expertise and experience in this area positioned us at the forefront. We’re now seeing that many more large pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies are actively seeking ways to reimagine their trial processes. The pandemic, although a challenging period, has served as a silver lining, prompting us to think differently and driving innovation in clinical trials.

If you're a clinical trials business looking for direct access into the NHS or R&D in universities, or your business is looking for clinical trials companies to collaborate with, get in touch here.

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