Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in partnership with Health & Care Videos were awarded funding from EPIC (Ehealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) to develop an app, named eRIC (eResearch in Cornwall), that will improve patient participation in research, support clinical trial management and will help highlight the Trust’s outstanding capabilities in clinical research.
The Research, Development and Innovation department supports and facilitates health research in Cornwall. Research is a hugely important part of Royal Cornwall Hospitals with the team dedicated to developing groundbreaking treatments, technologies and techniques to provide new knowledge about how to treat and care for patients with different health conditions enabling them to have the best and most appropriate care possible.
Mike Visick, Research Development & Innovation Manager says, ‘It is important that we engage well with potential participants to our research trials and offer the very best experience and opportunities to our local population. The research app will provide a wealth of information of current trials and what would be expected if you took part. Having the app enables us to maintain an up to date list of all trials, a brief summary, the duration and a description of who’s eligible to take part and we can notify users of the app when new trials are listed that may be of interest to them’.
As well as providing details of existing trials the eRIC app will be used as a key component when a volunteer takes apart in a trial, providing them with vital information. For example, if the trial includes having a CT scan they will be directed to watch a video about ‘Having a CT Scan’ which will explain the process.
There will also be a calendar function for participants to put in key dates such as appointments or blood tests and set up reminders for them.
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust is already established as a leading site for clinical studies and wants to use the app to encourage more studies to the area. Videos have been produced to showcase the Trust’s Truro based site and facilities, enabling pharmaceutical companies and Clinical Research Networks virtual access.
Health & Care Videos have worked with the Trust on a number of video production projects and more recently implemented an online library of over 350 videos for the Trust to use widely across their patient pathways. The organisation uses video as a way to clearly present patient information and develop apps to make the information easily accessible.
eRIC will be launched in January 2019 and will be available to Cornwall’s residents to download for free from the Apple or Google App stores.
Mike adds ‘We see the development of eRIC as being a huge milestone, using technology to improve the patient experience and make the process work more efficiently. We are very excited to be the innovators on this project which we believe could eventually change clinical research on a national scale’.