Monday, April 13, 2009

Clinical Trials meet Social Media

You have cancer, and someone suggests you should consider clinical trials. But you have NO idea how to find a clinical trial for your cancer, or for your stage of illness. Through trial and error, you discover but, to be honest, you're just overwhelmed when you search the site. How do you begin? How do you sort? Which trials are right for you? Then you realize that is only one of a couple of dozen sites that index clinical trials. You'll never be able to sort through all of them--and your doctor(s) want an answer about your treatment, now.

TrialX at is moving the search for clinical trials onto social media sites like Twitter.

In this TrialX blog entry are the instructions you need to send a request (a QuTweet) to @trialx from your Twitter account. Use the format @trialx CT your health profile and send the qutweet as either a regular public update, or a private direct message (DM) to @trialx. Within a few minutes, you'll receive a targeted response with a tinyURL link to a list of clinical trials appropriate to your query.

For instance, my query was @trialx CT rectal cancer northeast US.
Within a minute, I received this response: @Gaelen2 Your Matching Clinical Trials
At the tinyURL link, I was able to further refine the list with my age, sex, and stage information, search among the listed trials for phase of trial information, and get a general run-down of each of the trials on my targeted list (including acceptance and exclusion criteria.)

Useful--and cool. The TrialX Twitter app puts a high-powered clinical trial search engine at the fingertips of anyone with a Twitter account--and the main website offers additional search options. Best of all, it's all for free.

This is the kind of information that makes having a computer a good thing.

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