Chintan Patel Chintan Patel Co-Founder and Technology Lead at TrialX

Empowering Patients to Connect with Clinical Trial Investigators using their HealthVault PHR at New York Presbyterian

After Google’s decision to shut down Google Health (read a heart-felt post by our Google Health App developers) , there has been a fair share of pessimism expressed by many, with some bloggers even questioning the future viability of PHRs themselves. However, we have some exciting updates on our still nascent but encouraging efforts to realize meaningful use cases for PHRs.

After getting the go-ahead in late 2010, our tech team has been working with folks at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH), a world-renowned university hospital in New York City (ranked #6 in US News’s list of Top Hospitals)  affiliated with Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and Cornell University’s Weill Medical College. Earlier this year,  the NYPH team completed the integration of their online personal health record platform, with TrialX’s award-winning technology for clinical trial matching  and patient recruitment.

This integration allows patients at NYPH to use their PHR to match themselves to clinical trials and connect with the investigator conducting the relevant study. In fact this is perhaps the first live example of one of the most important use cases mentioned by Ken Mandl and Isaac Kohane in their NEJM paper on the use of Personally Controlled Health Records

Technical Details of the Integration and Sample Screenshots

The integration was achieved relatively quickly through the use of our REST-based API. The API provides access to all our clinical trials data and the matching service. Requests can be made through http and results are sent back as xml or JSON objects which can then be displayed as per the local clients look and feel. Attached below are some sample screenshots from the integration.

Ability to Filter Clinical Trials

Reviewing a clinical trial

Emailing an investigator

Preliminary Insights

Results from the first half of the year look very encouraging (Note: A detailed analysis and report is beyond the scope of this blog and is likely to be published by NYPH in due course. Sorry, the lawyers wrote the contracts)! In the few months since we went live, several hundred clinical trial matching queries have been performed  using the TrialX service to match patients health records to clinical trials. Better still, over 50% of those patients have gone on to read about specific clinical trials being performed at New York-Presbyterian. That is an astounding conversion rate (higher than what we have seen on, and seems to suggest that such patients are interested in learning more and enrolling in clinical trials.

Overall, the New York-Presbyterian patients searched for clinical trials for over 10o different medical conditions. Out of these, the top 10 conditions were:

  1. Asthma
  2. Diabetes
  3. Depression
  4. Stroke
  5. Cancer
  6. Heart abnormalities
  7. Infertility
  8. Blood pressure
  9. Lupus and
  10. Sneezing

We are very excited about the results of this partnership, and are confident that more and more people at NYP will use this service to enroll in clinical studies being performed at NYP. So if you have your personal health record at NYP (login at, we encourage you to volunteer for a clinical trial using the TrialX service!

In our effort to increase awareness of clinical trials and to empower patients with knowledge and follow up, we will continue to expand this service within NYPH. We are working on integrating directly with the EHR at the hospital. We will keep you posted  from time to time.

Now back to work for even bigger and better numbers!

  • Jourdan Hathaway

    This is very interested news. Many of my clients recruit for mental health studies and seeing the empirical evidence that depression ranked number 3 demonstrates the important of connecting their resources to the patients who need them. I’ll stay tuned for the eventual conclusion of how PHR are used…