Digital Clinical Trials

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The West Midlands Secure Data Environment (WMSDE) will give us the opportunity to open up clinical trials to everyone in our local communities. That’s hugely important because it will allow us to properly address some of the health inequalities that exist in our region.

Developing better technology has revolutionised how health data is securely stored in the NHS. This allows information collected as part of day-to-day NHS care to help make research more successful. We can now run trials remotely, which means patients can be part of important NHS research without having to visit a hospital, or even their GP. This is now a reality in the West Midlands and beyond.

Supported by representatives of patients and the public, our aim is to bring the benefits of clinical trials to the wider West Midlands population, overcoming social and cultural barriers and allowing more patients to benefit from treatments that can prevent a wide range of diseases – from heart conditions to mental health disorders.

Working through the WMSDE and connecting health data held by GPs and hospitals will give us access to a greater breadth and depth of health information. Consent can then be sought from patients who are eligible to join a particular clinical trial that is relevant for them and their NHS care.

Bringing these innovations together with the WMSDE will allow us to undertake trials with patients in the comfort of their own home. These trials will help us create real change and improvement in the quality of NHS care and the patient experience. Once the trials demonstrate benefit, we can then implement that change directly into clinical practice for existing and future patients.