Corengi (short for “clinical options research engine”) is a website that allows patients to find out which clinical trials are clinically appropriate for them. It turns out that for type 2 diabetes, there are almost 400 clinical trials ongoing in the United States. Any one patient, however, will be qualified for less than 10% of them. Corengi has a simple medical questionnaire that allows them to eliminate some of the trials and focus on those that might be appropriate. (For example, if, for a specific trial, it’s required that a patient is on insulin – and the patient isn’t – it hides this trial from the match results.) Corengi includes a comprehensive set of trial data updated on a daily basis from federal sources such as clinicaltrials.gov.
In an e-mail conversation with Corengi co-founder Ryan Luce, we asked a bit about his business model. He told us, “Corengi is completely free to patients. It does, however, present the opportunity for paying clients to go back to registrants and recruit for their specific trials. Essentially, Corengi will allow augmented recruitment on top of the free directory.”
He also told us about some of his own market research, conducted in the process of developing Corengi. “In order to better understand these patients, Corengi used the QuestionPro platform to survey over 350 diabetes patients about their experiences, attitudes, and knowledge regarding clinical trials. By quickly getting this feedback, Corengi is better able to build its product and to demonstrate unique expertise in this area going forward.”
Corengi is a very interesting example of new ways that researchers are connecting with potential participants, creating a more bi-directional process in which potential participants can self-identify for particular studies, and researchers can identify ideal participants from a broad pool. Definitely an example to keep an eye on!