Sandra Shpilberg, CEO & Founder, Seeker Health
“Per an industry report, 36 percent of clinical trial sites do not meet enrollment goals and more than 15 percent of clinical trial sites do not enroll a single patient. Biopharmaceutical organizations setting up clinical trials are plagued by low efficiency and delayed drug development,” says Sandra Shpilberg, Founder and CEO, Seeker Health. Enrollment is one of the biggest challenges that confront clinical trials. Patient education about clinical trials is low or non-existent. Resources available are usually presented in language that patients cannot comprehend, and clinical trial sites may quickly run out of patients to enroll in specific trials. With a vision to mitigate such challenges, Shpilberg laid the cornerstone of Seeker Health, a Palo Alto-based digital health company committed to increase patient engagement in clinical trials, foster greater participation, and hence enhance efficiency of drug development. The firm has designed an end-to-end digital solution for greater patient engagement and acceleration of clinical trial enrollment, translating into faster drug development.
In today’s social media and internet era, patients use digital resources to learn about their conditions and connect to others facing similar experiences. Additionally, clinical trials sites demonstrate openness to referrals of nearby patients who would be interested in participating in clinical trials. This creates an opportunity to increase the efficiency of clinical trials sites by sending them a steady stream of qualified pre-screened referrals. These factors form the basis of the key offering of Seeker Health, which is a digital solution that accelerates the clinical trial process with more participation, empowers patients with the knowledge of clinical trials, allows them to get pre-screened online, and be assigned to a clinical trial site nearby. “We leverage all the online media available to reach out to patients with serious diseases, and connect them to clinical trials near them,” says Shpilberg.
Seeker Health harnesses the power of technology to accelerate clinical trial enrollment
Seeker Health’s solution for clinical trials enrollment consists of a comprehensive digital media and patient lead management system. First off, Seeker Health designs compliant digital campaigns that reach out to patients in a targeted and measurable manner. Secondly, all the patients are pre-screened online with the help of a questionnaire that determines patients’ eligibility for a specific clinical trial. Thirdly, all the data, thus collected, are aggregated in the Seeker Portal—the firm’s proprietary patient lead management system—that evaluates the online pre-screener results to qualify patients, assigns qualified patients to a clinical trial site, and notifies the patient and site coordinator of such assignment. The Seeker Portal also facilitates the sponsor’s real-time tracking of enrollment and conforms to the compliance standards. Seeker Health Portal is GDPR compliant, making it extremely secure and resilient.
A biotech company developing a drug in an ultra rare disease approached Seeker Health to implement this solution. The biotech company had enabled multiple clinical trial sites, but enrollment had come to a complete halt. Seeker Health deployed its compliant digital media campaign, online pre-screeners, and the Seeker Health Portal to deliver a new and steady stream of qualified patient referrals. In the course of four months, Seeker Health was able to enroll the last twenty percent of patients required to complete the trial and allowed the biotech company to achieve the milestone of filing for drug approval.
Going forward, Seeker Health endeavors to grow its partnerships with drug developers and Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and bring this solution to many more clinical trials in serious conditions. In addition, the firm envisions keeping the innovation streak going so that more patient engagement products can be built in the years to come which accelerate drug development and improve health outcomes around the globe.