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HealthMatch is helping to connect Australians with chronic conditions to medical trials and news about their conditions. Chronic conditions remain a top health issue nationwide, and the technology platform aims to increase accessibility to, and awareness of, trials and breakthroughs. We explore the insights behind this and why apps could be the answer to nuanced medical treatment.

Founded by Manuri Gunawardena, HealthMatch is looking to make clinical trials more consumer-friendly. The platform, which raised $18 million in funding in 2020, matches people with chronic conditions, from eczema to mental health, to clinical trials being conducted on their illnesses. Users register and answer questions based on their conditions as well as their personal details like age and location. The platform will then inform them of open trials to apply for.

“Finding eligible patients for clinical trials is a critical and complex part of new drug discovery, yet patients are missing out on trials simply because the application process is too complicated,” says Gunawardena. “Using simple questions connected to a powerful data-centre, HealthMatch’s platform increases the likelihood of patients getting offered trials for which they are medically eligible."

HealthMatch is looking to make clinical trials more consumer-friendly
Mathilde Langevin (2020) ©

In Australia, 50% of people have at least one of the eight most common chronic illnesses observed across the country. Given this, it’s no surprise there’s been a rise in personal health-management tools such as pain-management, telehealth services, and at-home testing solutions that give people a firmer grip on their health concerns. Nevertheless, when it comes to medical trials, they aren’t as accessible due to factors like awareness and understandability.

As the number of medical trials grows in Australia, tools like HealthMatch are simplifying access to these trials. Also boosting personal management of chronic health, Omada Health uses behavioural science to give feedback and guidance to patients, while also providing access to peer support groups.

Luana Sambell is a behavioural analyst on the Cultural Intelligence team at Canvas8. With an MSc in consumer behaviour, she’s interested in how pop- and sub-cultures shape people’s preferences, judgements, and decision-making. Outside of work, you can usually find her cycling around London looking for dumplings or natural wine.

19 Jan 21
2 min read

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