Ochsner, Pfizer to test digital tools to ease patient participation in clinical trials

New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System entered into a multiyear agreement with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to improve patient access to clinical trials.

The health system — through its innovation lab and in partnership with Ochsner Research — and Pfizer created a digital clinical trial experience as part of the agreement. The new program is designed to allow patients to test out new digital tools that might enhance their participation experience in clinical trial.

The new partnership's first project recently completed a "proof of value" phase, in which researchers applied Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource standards to transfer mock data from Ochsner's EHR to Pfizer's electronic data capture system, the platform that the company uses in clinical trials. The experiment aimed to help collaborators understand the gaps and variances between data collected in EHRs and patient-reported data from clinical trials.

"There is more work ahead, but this is a significant step forward in simplifying data capture for clinical trials, and the first of many pioneering solutions we hope to develop through our partnership with Ochsner," Pfizer Vice President of Global Product Development Rob Goodwin said in a news release.

Pfizer and Ochsner's next project phase will work to digitize patient and clinician experiences in clinical trials, with a specific focus on how patient prefer to access and share their health data.

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