The way in which clinical research trials are managed in UK hospitals looks set to be transformed by a new software system called EDGE that was developed by a Southampton-based research network.
EDGE is the brainchild of James Batchelor and David Miller, head of ICT and lead analyst, respectively, at the Central South Coast Cancer Research Network, which is run from the Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre at Southampton University in collaboration with Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust.
In use, the EDGE platform allows any research professional involved in a study to access detailed real-time data about its progress from any location via a secure web interface.
Batchelor claims that it is the first software solution of its kind that could be implemented not only across individual NHS trusts or even research networks, but also the entire NHS as a single system – bringing potentially huge efficiency savings.
The system is being trialled at a number of sites in England and is already proving very successful.
‘A robust IT solution that enables NHS trusts and research networks to manage trials more effectively has to be a huge step forward in delivering the government’s vision of a vibrant health research system,’ said Dr John Stedman, chief executive of NHS Innovations South East (NISE).
The system was officially launched today, June 25 at the Association of British Healthcare Industries’ annual conference at Olympia, London.