Clinicalstudies.se provides support for researchers and others interested in conducting a clinical study, and for patients who want to know more about participating in a study. The site is run by the Swedish Research Council in the context of Clinical Studies Sweden, which is a national collaboration between the Research Council and the six health care regions in Sweden.
The overall mission for Clinical Studies Sweden is to strengthen and develop the conditions for clinical studies. Six regional nodes – one in each health care region – along with the Clinical Studies Unit at the Swedish Research Council, form the basis of the collaboration.
The work’s overall focus is handled by the Committee for Clinical Studies at the Swedish Research Council, which also allocates available funds. A national website with content that supports implementation of clinical studies is requested by many parties, and is one of the development initiatives that the Committée for Clinical Studies has decided to fund. Kaj Stenlöf, head of the Office for Clinical Studies at the Swedish Research Council, answers some questions about the website.
- The aim of the website is to create a single source of information that supports people who are working to conduct clinical studies and also to inform about Sweden as a research country. At present, the website mainly holds information for researchers who want to know more about what it means to conduct clinical studies, and for people who want to know more about what it means to participate in a study. Via the website, also those who already work with clinical studies – from industry, academia, and healthcare – can get help with contacting their regional node for more support. There are six regional nodes, appointed by the Swedish health care regions, which contribute to national collaboration within clinical studies.
- We will continuously develop more and more information and more features that support and develop the conditions for conducting clinical studies in Sweden. For example, many parties request reliable statistics on clinical studies – which studies are ongoing and where in the country are they being conducted. We aim at eventually being able to present such statistics, and others, on the website. We are also working to develop an effective and coordinated support for the work that companies, academia or individual investigators do when searching for clinics that can be used in clinical studies.
- We have a pretty good understanding of the needs. During the winter of 2015-2016, we conducted a comprehensive pilot study in order to identify different user’s requirements for a national website on clinical studies. Sixty interviews and three workshops were conducted with representatives from academia, industry, and health care. This resulted in an effect map, which has been used to create design, functionality and content on the new clinicalstudies.se.