IBM Watson Health has launched its latest Cloud-based technology, IBM Study Advance, which has been designed to reduce the cost and time associated with clinical trials.

The data-driven, study design tool IBM Study Advance optimises clinical trial protocol design by integrating automated access to real-world patient data and standardising protocol template guidance.

It also provides a collaborative workspace, which enables greater trial efficiency, aiming to reduce the potential for costly amendments.

IBM Watson Health deputy chief health officer Rob DiCicco said: “Currently, 80% of trials experience delays in recruiting and one out of four amendments were considered completely avoidable.

“Breakdowns in the clinical trial process, including issues caused by study design decisions, may potentially delay access to life-changing therapies for patients. IBM Study Advance aims to remove the barriers in clinical development to help researchers efficiently bring necessary therapies to patients.”

The IBM Study Advance is designed with an interface to provide access to commercial and claims data from de-identified patient profiles of about 89 million lives from US healthcare beneficiaries sponsored by multiple employers.

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It also provides tools to analyse inclusion and exclusion criteria impact on the eligible patient population.

In the world of clinical trials, one of the primary issues is that they are extremely costly and any change to the clinical trial protocols at any point of the study may result in extra costs of half a million dollars on an average.

In March last year, Health Quest Systems signed an agreement to deploy IBM Watson for Clinical Trial Matching, a cognitive computing system, to increase participation in clinical trials.