A King-of-Prussia-based company is making access to clinical trials easier for patients by giving them a Lyft.
Greenphire, a 150-person, financial software provider for clinical trials, is partnering with ride-share company Lyft to help clinical trial sites book rides for participants and reimburse them for any transportation costs.
"Greenphire's mission is to remove the barriers of participation for patients in clinical trials" and reduce any administrative burdens of conducting one, said Jim Murphy, CEO of Greenphire. For many patients, those barriers include the ability to get to a trial.
The ultimate goal of the software, Murphy said, is to allow for greater enrollment and retention of patients in these trials in order to collect more data and bring new drugs to the market more quickly.
"It's taking one of the bigger known obstacles to patient retention and just improving that situation for patients without increasing the burden for the clinical trial," he said.
The company provides software that allows clinical trial sponsors and sites to automate all payments for the trial within one system. With the Lyft partnership, sites will also be able to book a ride for a patient and handle the financial transaction through Greenphire. The pharmaceutical and biotech firms that sponsor the trials will pay for the transportation, but the partnership with Lyft streamlines the reimbursement process and doesn't require the patient to turn in a receipt.
Cheryl Zinar, director of clinical research at Urologic Consultants of Southeastern Pennsylvania, said she noticed higher trial enrollment numbers while the site was beta testing the new software. The site is located in Bala Cynwyd, but Zinar said it hosts 30 trials with patients from other places such as Philadelphia, Pottstown, and East Norriton.
Before testing the software, Zinar said patients were opting out of clinical trials because they weren't able to make the trip to Bala Cynwyd. Now, she said, they have "the luxury to say we can send a ride for you," making patients more willing to do a study because they don't have to drive themselves.