Clinical Trials help researchers discover which treatments and approaches work and are safe, providing the evidence medical practitioners need to make better decisions about how to treat different medical conditions. Every single one of us either indirectly, or directly, benefits from the advances made to medicine as a result of clinical trials.
In particular, trial participants could gain access to advanced treatments that are not yet on the market, and for those who may have exhausted standard treatment options, a trial could be a game changer and even a lifesaver.
Unfortunately, awareness of clinical trials is low among cancer patients. A survey revealed that 85% were unaware that participation in clinical trials was even an option, and 75% reported that they would have at least considered it if offered. Perhaps not surprisingly, data suggest that just 3% of adult cancer patients actually do participate in clinical trials.
We wanted to develop a platform to not just search for clinical trials but also provide a platform for both doctors and patients to be able to comment on trials they have personally undergone or have seen results of. This way, the experience is more relevant and the user can walk away with a better understanding of a trial.
What it does
Users can search for and view information about clinical trials using keywords and filters (gender, type of study). They can view a list of search results in the language of their choice. From there, if they find a trial of interest, they can click on it to view more details, the highlight of which is a comments section from other patients who are undergoing / have undergone the trial and physicians who know about the trial.
How we built it
We leveraged the Algolia API to be able to search and filter information about clinical trials based on user input.
We used the Google Translate API to allow users to select the language to display their information in.
This information was fed directly into a page with relevant results summarizing the information.
Each entry contained four pieces of information (Type, Recruiting or not Recruiting, Medicines/Drugs if applicable, and locations). Each entry was linked to it's own page (by passing an ID via parameters in the URL and using wixLocation to grab it onReady).
Specific pages had the same information as well as a comments section for that specific page. This allowed users to submit ratings and comments regarding the trial, either doctors or non-doctors. Users can view all reviews and see the average review immediately. No clutter, no extra information.
Challenges we ran into
Implementing Comments Wix Code has a cool feature that allows you to plug in reviews and review counts. However, since we did not have a database for each trial (only a comments database), we needed to dynamically update reviews and review counts on page load, as well as dynamically update the page (without refresh) with the new comments, average rating, and review count once a user submitted a new review.
Connecting a dynamic fetch with Wix pages. Originally, when building out the comments feature, we used a
Database Collectionto store static information about each page. However, once the Algolia search feature was complete, we needed to merge the two. This was difficult because we no longer had access to Wix-code's
dynamic-pagefeature, so we had to make use of other features such as
wix-location(path, query) to uniquely identify which trial we wanted to show.
Allowing the user to provide search parameters. When testing each feature, we were limiting search to one disease with no ability to provide additional parameters. However, in practice, this is not desirable. We managed to allow users to provide language, disease type, gender, and type of study.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Using Wix Code! We were so happy and encouraged by the ease of use of Wix Code, specifically in relation to the legendary documentation provided. It really helped us to navigate the new environment as well as make it much easier for us to implement certain features
Finishing our idea! We never imagined we would be able to have a working prototype by the end of this weekend, but we do! And it works and looks nice!
Adding features that we take for granted everyday. Search features, comment features, ratings, and location information are not as easy to provide as it seems. It was so rewarding to learn how these APIs, hooks, and functions worked to be able to do it ourselves.
What we learned
What's next for SimpliCT
Add User Authentication - This can allow Wix to send e-mails to users if they elect to receive more detailed information about a specific clinical trial. Furthermore, users can save clinical trials in their bookmarks to view later. This profile information can also be leveraged to pre-screen certain users for certain clinical trials, further improving the search experience by reducing irrelevant trials.
Allow clinical trial administrators to connect with users. Our web app can track when users view certain trials, and this information can be made to clinical trial administrators. This way, it is not only the users who have access to insightful information, but administrators can personally reach out to candidates based on profile (queried by Wix Code) to further the vetting process. This will increase the likelihood that a patient will receive a tangible, potentially life-saving treatment.
Get it in use! Share it with patients seeking these life-saving treatments on blogs, social media, and more! The more people that use SimpliCT, the more people these treatments can reach!