Medical technology company Tempus has launched a new service that uses artificial intelligence to quickly match cancer patients to clinical trials.

The new service, called Tempus Integrated Molecular Evaluation (TIME) trial, aims to increase clinical trial participation of cancer patients treated in both the academic and community setting. Around 1.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year; however, less than 5% of patients enroll into clinical trials.

The TIME trial system aims to overcome this challenge by analysing molecular and clinical patient data in real time and then match patients to clinical trials at pre-qualified academic and community-based providers that are ready to enroll patients in  trials.

Almost two-thirds of cancer patients do not enroll into clinical trials due to lack of access at the community level.

Due to molecular profiling of patients, it becomes possible to identify patients that match trials.

At Tempus, most of the patients sequenced can currently be matched to a biomarker-driven trial.

Tempus chief operating officer Ryan Fukushima said: “The current clinical trial system is outdated and is not designed to maximize participation for all patients.

“With new cancer therapies targeting narrower populations, the healthcare system needs a new approach to help physicians find the right trials and ensure their patients are able to be enrolled in a timely manner.”

Tempus plans to leverage relationships with pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and biotechnology companies, in order to increase patient awareness and bring patients to clinical trials.

Until now, Tempus has brought over 40 provider networks, with over 1,800 oncologists, into the TIME Trial programme.

Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center director of thoracic oncology Michael P Kosty said: “The current clinical trial process is cumbersome and inefficient.

“As treatments become more molecularly targeted, finding innovative ways to increase participation is key to therapeutic development and ultimately improved patient care. Having a TIME Trial model is visionary and the wave of the future. This model has the potential to bring innovative and novel therapies to a larger percentage of our patients.”