MedStar Health has announced plans to conduct a clinical trial with Georgetown University scientists to analyse therapies and new data collection modalities for acute rhinosinusitis.

The research team has received a grant of $23.6m from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to lead the trial.

Claimed to be the largest trial of its kind, the randomised study will assess outcomes of treatment with antibiotics, nasal sprays such as intranasal corticosteroids, over-the-counter supportive therapy, or saline nasal irrigation.

Some of the trial arms will also have a placebo.

The trial is expected to enrol more than 3,700 individuals with acute rhinosinusitis.

Apart from evaluating ways to boost treatment outcomes in patients, the trial will also use various methods for collecting data from subjects.

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For this purpose, voice-enabled devices such as Amazon Alexa EchoDot will be used to aid and boost the precision of data collection using such technologies.

Furthermore, the trial will have a preliminary feasibility phase to boost the chances of complete study success. 

The research partnership also comprises investigators from the University of California, Los Angeles, University of Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University, Penn State and the University of Wisconsin.

University of Georgetown School of Medicine family medicine professor Dan Merenstein said: “Acute rhinosinusitis leaves people feeling miserable and desperate for relief and their care providers eager to help.

“Unfortunately, in the absence of clinically proven treatments, providers often prescribe antibiotics. We want to know if there’s a better way to treat patients and alleviate symptoms quicker.”

Acute rhinosinusitis is characterised by inflammation of the nose and sinus passages, usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

Symptoms comprise congestion, sinus pressure, headaches, facial pain and a green/yellow nasal discharge.