Researchers at St George’s, University of London will help build a £1.2m data system which will develop ways to quickly identify patients best suited to clinical trials.

The Semantic Data Platform for Healthcare Project (SEMCARE), will help build a data system that will improve how vital data from pioneering clinical trials is used, allowing patients quicker access to new drugs and treatments. The project will determine which volunteers are best suited to a given trial by using clinical criteria such as: age, gender, diagnosis, symptoms and lab results. 

Currently, almost 80 per cent of clinical trials fail to meet their patient enrolment quotas on time, causing delays in introducing  new drugs. The SEMCARE project, funded by the European Commission, will bring together the expertise of several research institutions and build a pan-European supported platform that hospitals all over Europe can use for patient identification in clinical trials and for diagnosis support, especially in the case of rare diseases.

Two researchers, Dr Elijah R Behr and Professor Kausik Ray from the Cardiology Research Centre at St George’s, University of London, are leading the clinical side of the project with a particular focus on cardiac disorders.

Dr Behr, reader in cardiology at St George’s, said: “The SEMCARE platform will offer a unique opportunity to take advantage of the electronic health record for identifying patients who require treatments and understanding how well we are doing in delivering treatments. We will then be able to target patient groups for development of new therapies, device or drug based, or for observational research to develop new methods for assessing and treating risk."

Note to editors

The full list of participating institutions are:

  • St George's, University of London (SGUL)
  • Averbis GmbH (AVERBIS)
  • Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam (EMC)   
  • Medical University of Graz (MUG) 
  • Synapse Research Management Partners S.L. (SYNAPSE)