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Perth clinical research company using electronic data capture to improve health of Australians

Photo: Perth clinical research company at forefront of electronic data capture to impro....
A Perth research company which is using cloud based technology to record data on their patients and participants involved in ground-breaking clinical trials, say the immediacy of results will accelerate the development of potentially life changing therapies.

Dr Michael Winlo, the CEO of Linear Clinical Research which is part of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, said they were leading the country and the globe with electronic trial data capture.

“Perth is at the forefront of health data analysis which will deliver a range of benefits to both patients and providers,” said Dr Winlo.

“We are the first clinical research centre in Australia providing this kind of technology to major international pharmaceutical and biotech companies sponsoring medical trials,” he said.
“We are using a unique, cloud based system that was devised by a US based company called Medrio who have so far assisted 2,500 clinical trials around the globe.”

The founder and CEO of Medrio is Mike Novotny who says their technology is transforming research.

“Trials are getting larger and more complicated and there is more competition among drug companies who want to bring their therapies to market faster than ever before. This technology can speed up the whole process.”

Professor Peter Leedman, the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research said Linear was at the cutting edge in this field.

“Moving to an electronic data capture platform is the future of clinical trials and will deliver better outcomes for patients at Linear by making trials more efficient, higher quality and enabling new medicines to be accessed by patients faster”

CEO of Linear Clinical Research Michael Winlo emphasised the potential value in capturing data electronically “Today, with paper-based systems, so much potentially valuable information is trapped and unavailable for analysis.  Yet, this is the standard for clinical trials and for much of our health system.  With electronic data capture, we can start to analyse clinical data immediately and with more powerful tools determine if a medication is working or, whether we need to change the dosage or stop altogether.”

“Electronic data capture is so important – that’s why we are fully supportive of a National Digital Health Strategy which paves the way for health information to eventually be integrated into one electronic data system. This will provide potentially lifesaving access to reports about medication, allergies, laboratory tests and chronic conditions.”

“Australia is an attractive destination for clinical research but we have to maintain our position as the most desirable and innovative clinical trial destination in the world.  This is why Linear is making a substantial investment to support EDC.”

“We’re on a mission to fast-track the development of life-changing therapies and that is why electronic data capture is so important.  It really can make the difference between life and death.”

Dr Winlo summarised the benefits of electronic data capture as follows:

  • Quickens the process of drug development. By inputting and analysing data faster we can speed up the possibility of patients receiving new treatments.
  • Reduce the risk of harm or illness to a participant or patient on a trial as it will highlight any adverse events at an earlier stage.  If a patient is responding in an adverse way to a drug, investigations can take place immediately.
  • Patients can track trial data themselves. Image recognition can detect if people involved in home-based trials are in fact swallowing the drugs as prescribed.  Participants and patients will feel more comfortable disclosing information by imputing it directly onto a device.
  • It allows for better accuracy. Logging information manually on paper is more open to errors, paperwork can get lost or patients and participants may forget about symptoms which occurred.  It can also be a tedious process.
  • Patients can read information in their native language as the information can be customised to suit their own dialect.

Dr Winlo explained that there’s a common misconception that there are too many barriers to electronic data capture with concerns over cost, resistance to change and lack of technical knowledge.

But he’s quick to highlight the huge benefits which outweigh any concerns, notably time reduction, better data quality and long-term cost-effectiveness.

About Dr Michael Winlo and Linear Clinical Trials Ltd
Dr Michael Winlo has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and an MBA from Stanford University.  He heads up the Linear Clinical Research facility in Perth which is a global leader in early stage clinical trials.

Based at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, it is a 32-bed facility with 24-hour medical emergency team coverage. Regulatory standards in Australian mean that clinical trials conducted at Linear are completed six months faster than in the US and often at a third of the cost.  Since it was established in 2010, there have been 170 clinical trials on general participants and over 180 oncology patients enrolled into world-first clinical trials.

To find out more about the use of electronic data capture for clinicals trials visit www.linear.com.au

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