This post is part of a special “Q&A with …” series, featuring 5 questions and answers with the finalists in the Collaborate | Innovate Challenge.
Meet Medical Heroes Science Exhibit, a traveling museum exhibit dedicated to recognizing the gift of volunteer participation in clinical research, and a partnership between the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), and the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO).
1. Tell us about the problem you’re trying to solve. What is the source of inspiration for your submission?
It is widely known that patient recruitment and retention is one of the greatest challenges facing clinical research today. A primary causes of this problem is low public and patient awareness of clinical research, limited public and patient connection with and understanding of the clinical research process and little to no public and patient appreciation of the important role that study participation plays in advancing medical knowledge and public health. Given low public and patient knowledge, appreciation and literacy, patients who face having to choose whether to participate in clinical research often feel alone and overwhelmed with navigating the unfamiliar clinical research terrain. This submission was inspired by the public and patients who wished to be more prepared and informed as partners in clinical research.
2. What impact do you think your concept can make on addressing this problem?
The Medical Heroes Science Exhibit concept aims to educate the public and patients about the clinical research process through an interactive and experiential traveling science museum exhibit. Visitors meet actual study volunteers through photos, stories, videos, and social media dialogue, and occasionally in person. Visitors participate in a simple clinical trial and make decisions about participation. Multimedia elements will enable visitors to assist volunteers who are figuring out what questions to ask before choosing to participate in a clinical trial. Importantly, the Medical Heroes Science Exhibit targets elementary through high-school aged children and their families helping to build a foundation of clinical research literacy among the community of future study volunteers.
3. What inspired you to enter the Collaborate | Innovate Challenge?
The Medical Heroes Science Exhibit concept has generated substantial excitement within the clinical research enterprise. Many stakeholders have pointed to the Collaborate | Innovate Challenge as a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and potential support for the initiative. We’ve been so impressed with the community of experts and thought leaders associated with Collaborate | Innovate and the many ways that this experience will help us continue to refine and improve the Medical Heroes Science Museum concept, making it an even more effective and impactful educational initiative.
4. Tell us about how your partnering organizations came together. What strengths are realized from collaborating together on your concept?
The success of this initiative depends on all stakeholders in the clinical research enterprise collectively guiding and supporting it. CISCRP, working with its partnering organizations including ACRP and ACRO – two well-positioned organizations with broad enterprise-wide representation – can best leverage input, connections and insights from research professionals in the community. Recently, CISCRP met with other major organizations that make up the fabric of the clinical research enterprise, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Health Council (NHC) to build and expand collective support for the Medical Heroes Science Exhibit initiative.
5. What is the biggest insight or learning you’ve uncovered so far during the Virtual Accelerator?
The biggest insight for us so far is that there are so many great ideas and insights, coming from a wide variety of individuals, helping to make all of the finalist initiatives even more progressive and impactful. The Virtual Accelerator has been a wonderful experience for us. Our interactions with a rich and diverse community of mentors and professionals is teaching us a great deal and will ensure that our concept is the best that it can be. We feel extremely privileged to be a part of the Virtual Accelerator process.
Watch the Medical Heroes Science Exhibit team present their concept and implementation plan at the Finalist Event on May 9. Follow @CollaboratePIPH on Twitter for updates as the Challenge progresses.
About the Collaborate Challenge Series
In the spirit of collaboration, Partners in Patient Health and the North America Research & Development Hub are partnering on the Collaborate | Innovate Challenge, focused on strengthening the patient voice in the drug development process. Now in its second year, the Collaborate Challenge series received submissions from a broad variety of organizations dedicated to various therapeutic areas and patient causes. Four finalist teams were selected to enter the Virtual Accelerator and present at the Finalist Event.