US-based contract research organisation (CRO) PPD has launched an iPad/iPhone application as an aid to clinical trial awareness and recruitment.

Downloadable free of charge from the Apple iTunes store, the Clinical Trials Mobile application can be used on iPads and iPhones to help potential participants find suitable clinical trials across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

Advanced keyword search menus allow users to scan the US National Library of Medicine’s database, which includes more than 100,000 clinical trials worldwide. Searches may be customised by location, gender, age and other criteria.

The Clinical Trials Mobile application gives details about specific trials such as eligibility criteria, trial locations and contact information. Trial searches may be saved for future reference and detailed trial information sent by e-mail.

Investigators and potential US-based trial participants can also register with PPD’s database, which will alert them when any new studies that meet their criteria become available.

“Mobile devices have become important tools for potential patients and investigators in their search for clinical trials targeted toward a specific disease,” commented Mike Wilkinson, executive vice president and chief information officer at PPD.

The company is “focused on delivering new technologies that educate these groups about the opportunities available to them and making the search for finding clinical trials an easier, more efficient process”, he added.

Last month the CRO launched PPD PatientView, an online portal designed to improve patient retention in clinical trials by linking participants with biopharmaceutical companies, physicians and healthcare