Clinical Ink, CentrosHealth merge to bolster mobile clinical trial tools

By Jonah Comstock
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CentrosHealthPharma-focused mobile clinical trial data collection company Clinical Ink has merged with CentrosHealth, formerly MyHealthBook, which makes configurable mobile apps for clinical trial patient engagement. As part of the deal, MPM Capital, which founded CentrosHealth, will make an additional investment in Clinical Ink, as will F2 Ventures, FCA Venture Partners and other existing Clinical Ink investors.

“The combination of Clinical Ink and CentrosHealth backed by the deep expertise, relationships, and financial resources of MPM Capital creates a powerful opportunity to transform the clinical development business model,” Ed Seguine, CEO of Clinical Ink, said in a statement. “This multi-part transaction underscores the tremendous progress we’ve made and the future potential for our combined businesses to deliver innovative technology solutions that eliminate the root causes of clinical trial inefficiency."

The announcement from Clinical Ink also says the company is embarking on a new partnership with Novartis, though Clinical Ink has been working with Novartis on its "Clinical Trials of the Future" initiative since at least November 2013, when Clinical Ink raised $4.3 million.

Clinical Ink makes SureSource, a Windows-based tablet software for healthcare providers to collect clinical trial data electronically at the point of care. They use Windows tablets because stylus-entry allows for unstructured as well as structured data entry — doctors can not only fill out forms, but also make margin notes that can be referenced later.

Seguine told MobiHealthNews in 2013 that Clinical Ink doesn't collect data on paper and then input it into an electronic database nor does it collect data directly from the patient. Clinical Ink is distinct from others in the market because it’s provider-facing, and also natively digital.

CentrosHealth, meanwhile, focuses on patient-facing apps for facilitating clinical trials. These include medication adherence tools and self-tracking tools, some of which integrate with connected medical devices.

"The CentrosHealth approach to patient engagement is based on the simple premise that patients want to actively manage their participation in clinical research,” Jeremy Sohn, Founder and CEO of CentrosHealth said in a statement. “Our platform seamlessly integrates clinical trial activities such as medication reminders, visit scheduling, activity measurements and ePRO into patients’ every-day life through personalized notifications, text messages, calendar integration, and a highly functional mobile application on their personal cell phone.”

The combination of provider and patient-facing data collection tools rounds out Clinical Ink's approach at a time when Apple ResearchKit is shining a spotlight on the potential for mobile health in research settings. Mobile clinical trials have immense potential but have still yet to really achieve scale.

"The pharmaceutical industry is at an inflection point in its embrace of mobile technologies,” Todd Foley, managing director for MPM Capital, said in a statement. “The combined Clinical Ink-CentrosHealth platform delivers a truly new operating model for clinical trials of the future and represents the most compelling solution to improve the clinical trial process for sites, sponsors, CROs, and patients involved in the $50 billion annual business of conducting clinical trials.”

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