Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

PAMF Announces Opportunity to Participate in Novel Study

Clinical trials are expensive, which drives up the price of drugs and limits the number of new treatments that can be developed. Current trial methods are also inconvenient for participating patients. Researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) believe that conducting trials from home, via a secure system, could lower this cost and make participation in clinical trials easier for patients.

“Because of concerns about patient privacy, nearly all clinical trials require patients to come in and meet with researchers face-to-face for follow-up assessments,” says Hal Luft, Ph.D., director of PAMF’s Research Institute and Caldwell B. Esselstyn, professor emeritus of health economics and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

“Regular email is not secure enough to replace these in-person appointments, which are costly and often inconvenient for study participants. However, a secure electronic messaging and data collection system—such as the one PAMF uses to communicate with its patients—is safe, private and may work for some research studies,” Dr. Luft says. Investigators at UCSF and Mytrus, a firm that conducts clinical trials, are studying this new approach to undertaking trials.  The PAMF Research Institute is testing whether patients volunteering for this trial are representative of all patients with the problem.

The current study is of a treatment for overactive bladder symptoms. After a first visit, women will communicate with the researchers through a secure password-protected website. The 14-week study is approved by UCSF.

“If the results of the study show that this is an effective way for researchers and study participants to communicate, it could make developing new drugs much less costly in the future and help many patients,” Dr. Luft says.

Interested in Participating in the Study?

The study is seeking women age 21 or older who have symptoms of overactive bladder—feeling the urge to urinate at least eight times a day and sometimes at night, and occasionally leaking urine if unable to get to the bathroom quickly.

If this describes your symptoms, learn more about this innovative study or call 877-448-6987 for more information.

Additional coverage of this innovative, new clinical trial method and study has been featured in the following news outlets. A few of them are listed below:

Wall Street Journal


ABC News

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