February 8, 2012

Matchmaker for clinical studies

ResearchMatch.org is a web-based registry that is connecting participants and researchers for clinical studies.

Challenges to recruiting participants for research studies slow the pace of clinical and translational research. Only 2 percent of the U.S. population participates in clinical research each year.

In a collaborative project for institutions in the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) consortium, Paul Harris, Ph.D., and colleagues designed ResearchMatch, a web-based national recruitment registry to help match individuals who wish to participate in clinical research studies with researchers actively searching for volunteers (www.researchmatch.org). In the January issue of Academic Medicine, the investigators describe ResearchMatch’s design, technical infrastructure, workflow model and utilization metrics. As of June 2011, ResearchMatch had registered 15,871 volunteer participants from all 50 states and 751 researchers from 61 CTSA institutions (current numbers on the website show 20,192 volunteers, 1010 researchers and 67 institutions).

ResearchMatch has proven successful in connecting volunteers with researchers, and the developers are currently evaluating regulatory and workflow options to open access to researchers at non-CTSA institutions.

This research was supported by the National Center for Research Resources.