Patient Engagement

Smart Patients teams up with Colon Cancer Alliance to gain access to clinical trial search tool

In addition to the Colon Cancer Alliance, Smart Patients has also partnered with the International Myeloma Foundation.

Paper made silhouettes with one of them of orange color to stand out from the rest


Smart Patients
, a patient community founded by a former Google health strategist Roni Zeiger and Gilles Frydman, the president of the Association of Cancer Online Resources, has teamed up with the Colon Cancer Alliance. The move is designed to help Smart Patient members identify and locate appropriate clinical trials.

The collaboration highlights a couple of pain points in drug development — the difficulty in finding clinical trials convenient to work and home and the challenge of finding the most appropriate patients for these studies.

Colon Cancer Alliance developed a clinical trial finder that helps users develop a top 10 list for clinical trials and easily share and discuss it with their provider. Patients can also highlight characteristics of their condition such as a molecular profile of their tumor. The connection with Smart Patients is intended to help patients exchange information about trials and share other relevant information about their experience.

Zeiger noted in an email that in addition to its collaboration with the Colon Cancer Alliance it also has a partnership with the International Myeloma Foundation.

“What’s special about our most recent effort with the Colon Cancer Alliance is that patients, especially in oncology, are learning more about clinical trials and the science behind the trials. Patients are also learning more from each other. With the Colon Cancer Alliance, we hope to help patients both learn more about trials and connect with others who are doing the same. Community can be a powerful context for learning.”

Smart Patients currently has 50 patient communities, with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer the most recent additions, Zeiger said. The company makes money by providing medical centers with access to its online communities and giving them and their researchers feedback from the patients in its communities. It also gives researchers valuable insights on their studies.

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Several patient communities have made access to clinical trials and influence on the design of these studies to focus on outcomes patients consider significant (rather than clinicians) an important part of their services. PatientsLikeMe has been on the scene for some time, but others include MyHealthTeams and Health Union. Cure Forward, a clinical trial search service for cancer patients, shut down earlier this year.

Photo: FotografiaBasica, Getty Images