At the heart of Quincy Center, DermCare is a medical and cosmetic dermatology practice conducting clinical trial operations. The practice is one of only a small number nationwide that uses full-fledged electronic data collection for research trials.
Pushed by the government, doctor's offices started adopting electronic medical records years ago, but physicians managing FDA trials for new drugs still use paper. Research coordinators manually record then transcribe data online for pharmaceutical companies. The process is inefficient and error-prone.
A technology start-up called Clinical Research IO (CRIO) in Cambridge, MA, aims to change that. It has launched the industry’s first electronic data capture software built specifically for clinical research sites. Others have similar systems that are designed only for pharmaceutical companies, who then provide them to research sites. When the study is over, the participating sites can no longer access the system. CRIO’s software, sold directly to research sites, lets them go electronic across their whole portfolio of studies.
“There's a blind spot in the marketplace,” said CRIO Co-Founder Raymond Nomizu, who has raised over $2.4 million in funding from venture capital and angel investors. “We built CRIO from day one for research sites to match their workflow.”
DermCare was the first dermatological research site in the country to sign up for the service. Dr. Victoria Kuohung, DermCare’s founder, saw immediate benefit in an electronic system, which is much like her electronic medical record. “CRIO makes data recording efficient and accurate, with better quality data and fewer errors,” she said. “It’s better for patients because it frees up my staff who don't have to worry about bulky binders or missing pages. They can find data quickly without having to thumb through literally thousands of pages.”
Since onboarding CRIO in September 2016, DermCare is now fully electronic and runs over a dozen clinical trials in areas such as acne, actinic keratosis (pre-cancers), diabetic peripheral neuropathy, onychomycosis (toenail fungus), post-herpetic neuralgia, psoriasis, and rosacea. Clinical trials like those at DermCare are an important final step on the path to market new drugs and devices.
“CRIO differentiates us when we apply for studies,” said Dr. Kuohung. “Pharmaceutical companies immediately know we are committed to high quality data and transparency just from the fact we’ve made this major commitment. This helps our patients because it gives them access to cutting-edge medications monitored in a safe, high quality way.”