Lilly at MedX



Medicine X—held September 24-27 in Silicon Valley—was hosted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Zoe Chu, the official mascot of MedX, gave you a preview of the event. This event brought together innovative and engaging minds to exchange ideas around the future of medicine and the role technology can play in improving health care.

Great eXpectations was this year’s theme and included an exploration of aging, misconceptions, population health, and the cost of care. This theme offered a prime opportunity to tie in Lilly Clinical Innovation’s work focused on putting the patient at the center of clinical trials—demonstrating meaningful results for patients while advancing the development of future treatments. By making clinical trial participation easier and more fulfilling, we encourage greater participation which leads to an increase in both the quantity and the quality of clinical trial data. Better data ultimately means better treatments for everyone.

Click on any of the pictures above to see what we presented.


The Future of Clinical Trials: An Immersive Learning Experience


On Thursday, MedX attendees gained first-hand knowledge around clinical trials through an interactive, 90-minute simulation. Lilly’s Clinical Innovation team transformed the experience of today’s clinical trial into a patient-centered trial of the future. To make it feel real, participants became patients enrolled and going through the activities and demands of a clinical trial—today and in the future. For the trial of the future, patient-centered conveniences and considerate, responsive, and supportive care were at the heart of the design considerations used to support trial activities. We introduced the use of the following technologies to support those activities:

  • A mobile clinical trial app for patients
  • A mobile clinical trial app for health care providers, accessible through existing electronic health record systems
  • A medical-grade biosensor


Each participant was able to walk away with a deeper, first-person understanding of how bringing the trial to the patient—on their terms and in consideration of their life—can offer a fulfilling and supportive experience in a clinical trial.

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Clinical Trial Documentary, A Story of Research Volunteers: Seeking Relief, Helping Future Patients


This documentary film—directed by Theo Rigby and presented by Joe Kim, Senior Advisor in Lilly Clinical Innovation—shares the story of four people with severe migraines who participated in clinical trials. On the MedX stage, Joe shared the trailer to the first-of-its-kind clinical trial film and held a Q&A session with the director and two of the four participants. They bravely talked about their experiences in research, factors influencing their decisions, how researchers can help connect more people to research, and their own opinions about the place of research in health care.

You can learn about connecting more people to clinical research by visiting Lilly Trial Guide.

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Philadelphia High School Challenge

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Over the summer of 2015, Joe Kim partnered with the William Tennent High School in the Philadelphia area to solve two of clinical trials most challenging issues: 1) improving the understanding of patients who might consider research and 2) raising awareness of clinical research through the power social media. Key faculty and administrators from WTHS helped coordinate and lead this challenge: Ignacioa Jayo, Steven Beal, Rena Friedant, Dr. Albert Catarro, and the principal, Dr. Dennis Best. In addition, entrepreneurs from pharma and healthcare spoke with the challenge teams. They helped pull together a group of talented and smart students from WTHS to take on this challenge, and the solutions were presented at MedX. Those winners and their campaigns are an inspiration and good examples of what fresh minds can create:

  • Art Inspiring Action in Clinical Research—Participation and engagement in clinical research are the main cause of delays in the development of new treatments. Solvers—William Barker, Meghan Izak, Julia Romanyszyn—showed us a way to humanize research participation to generate an emotional connection among volunteers and patients at large who have a stake in seeing better treatments become a reality.
  • You Don’t Need Consent to Inform—Patients who are eager to participate in clinical research usually discover—far too late—that the demands of trial participation are surprisingly too great to bear. And so many decline. Solvers—Jocelyn George, Caitlin Hubmaster, John Starr—showcased their multimedia approach to help improve the understanding of trial participation in a meaningful, timely way.


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The Responsive and Caring Clinical Trial of the Future

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On Sunday, Barry Crist, Lilly Clinical Innovation Advisor, explained how patient-centered innovation and technology can help positively transform the clinical trial experience. He invited the audience to put on the patient glasses, and he shared how participation in clinical trials doesn’t always come easily:

  • Many patients don’t know clinical trials are a health care option
  • It’s hard for patients to find a trial
  • Patients often need to travel significant distances to a research site
  • Patients need to disrupt their lives to complete trial requirements


Barry walked the audience through examples to make trial participation more convenient, responsive, and caring. He talked about using personal health records and wireless device data to automatically match patients to appropriate clinical trials. He described the use of mobile technologies during the trial that could reduce the need for in-person site visits, enable frictionless data collection, and facilitate the involvement of care teams and patient advocates. Refreshingly, he shared the importance of celebrating patient contributions once they finish a clinical trial—a step of the process that is often overlooked – and he reiterated the benefits of sharing clinical trial results with research patients.

Barry said, “Disrupting the traditional clinical trial model will not be easy, but the rewards will be great,” and he left the audience with a challenge to improve the lives of clinical trial participants because this will ultimately improve the lives of so many that will benefit from rapid medical advancement.

Explore our vision for clinical trials by taking a look at our Trial2020 website. We invite you to help us shape the future!

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