Trial by Data: Accessibility and Innovation in Trial Participation

Featuring Noah Craft of Science 37 and Dr. Sam Volchenboum

This week we welcome Noah Craft to Trial by Data to discuss what innovations will enable increased trial participation and trial diversity. We also touch on patient advocacy groups and their role in building the clinical trial of the future.

Noah Craft, MD, PhD, DTMHm is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Science 37. Noah is a physician-scientist-entrepreneur. He likes to tackle ideas that have a big impact and contribute to the common good. He was the Chief Medical Officer of VisualDx and the Chief Scientific Officer for DirectDerm, a national leader in telemedicine. He was also the Director of the Center for Immunotherapy Research at LABioMed and ran a large, NIH-funded laboratory studying the human microbiome and vaccines against tropical parasites and cancer.

You can follow him on Twitter at @NoahCraft37.

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Each episode, we pull out some of the key themes of the conversation for our listeners.

Here are the highlights from our conversation with Noah Craft:

Democratizing access. If we want more people to participate in clinical trials, they need to be accessible to every demographic. Today, on average, only 5–10% of clinical trial participants are non-caucasian. In contrast, Science 37 has had participation rates of 30–40% non-caucasian, reflecting the general population of the parts of the country in which they’re working. This huge percentage jump demonstrates that accessibility is a key determinant when it comes to encouraging diverse trial participation.

Cancer trials are unique. Patients have a special relationship to their oncologist, which empowers them to ask questions and become active players in their treatment and care. Because of this, cancer trials have higher participation rates. Patients feel that they can bring trial ideas to their oncologist for approval. This addresses the common communication problem with clinical trials in which patients don’t understand what trials they’re eligible for or understand how to be screened.


Trial of the future. In the future, automation of data collection systems will drive a lot of the progress in clinical trials. To this point, Science 37 is investing heavily in integrating so everything is accessible and queryable. This is important not just for researchers and their ease of use, but also integrating and adding value to participants’ lives.

Patient advocacy groups to improve processes. These groups help ensure that clinical trials are gathering the information that patients care about and making outcomes truly patient-centric. This point-of-view prioritizes quality of life and challenges us to be better scientists and physicians.

Trial by Data, presented by Litmus Health, is a podcast exploring the data-driven technologies and strategies shaping the future of clinical trials. We cover the most pressing issues and questions facing researchers and clinicians today, in an ever-changing landscape. Listen in as we interview leaders and innovators in the field who are at the forefront of developing and using these data-driven approaches.