Almac Clinical Technologies, an eClinical specialist with headquarters in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, has hooked up with PHT Corporation, a US-based company that supplies hand-held electronic devices for use in clinical trials, in an initiative aimed at boosting trial productivity.

The formal alliance embraces a variety of education and data integration programmes that, the companies say, “will reduce clinical trial site burdens while improving study data collection and reporting”. For example, Almac and PHT will offer joint consultation on “the difficult question of choosing the appropriate technology for studies involving electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO)” and will lead a number of workshops and panel sessions on the topic at industry events during 2009-10.

The first joint data initiative involves the integration of Almac’s patient screening and randomisation data with PHT’s hand-held devices for ePRO studies. Sponsors choosing to work with both Almac and PHT will have the opportunity for real-time data feeds from Almac’s interactive voice response/interactive web response (IVR/IWR) technology directly into PHT’s ePRO product suite, the LogPad and SitePad systems.

Almac will send PHT real-time automated feeds whenever a trial participant is screened and randomised. This will remove the need for study sites manually to enter the same information provided by the Almac IVR system into the LogPad, “thereby reducing the opportunity for costly and time-consuming data entry errors”, the two companies noted. Future efforts will involve deeper data integration, including seamless integration between Almac’s study data and those collected by PHT and electronic data capture vendors.

“Our partnership with Almac offers added value for both sponsors and sites, with one less data source to reconcile and the removal of a manual data entry step,” commented Philip Lee, chief executive officer of PHT. “Together, PHT and Almac are helping sponsors and sites remove time-consuming data cleaning tasks to focus on what they care about most – the health and safety of patients and conducting rigorous scientific research.”

The two companies plan to launch their integrated offering by mid-2009.