A LinkedIn-like platform could help pharma companies conduct diverse clinical trials

The news: Digital health startup H1 announced an extension of its Series C funding, bringing it to $123 million and valuing the company at $773 million.

H1 101: H1’s data platform functions as a “LinkedIn for the healthcare industry.”

H1 has around 10 million profiles of clinicians and researchers. It connects healthcare and pharma companies to drive medical device sales, get information about clinical trial sites, and more.

  • H1’s Connect platform claims it synthesizes billions of data points, including 25 million peer-reviewed publications and 420,000 clinical trials alone, for instance.
  • That data can reveal information like patient groups a doctor is likely to treat, or a researcher’s openness to participating in certain clinical trials.

Why it’s worth watching: H1’s platform could help big pharma create inroads for more diverse patient populations in their clinical trials.

  • In November 2020, the FDA released a guidance for all clinical trials to promote practices that enhance diversity of clinical trial populations.
  • But pharma companies don’t have easy access to diverse data resources.

The bigger picture: Most patients don’t participate in clinical trials because they’re unaware of trial availability. And lack of participation is even greater for people of color.

  • Less than 4% of US residents participate in clinical studies, per clinical trial database Phesi.
  • The majority of participants tend to be white individuals. In clinical trials, white individuals are overrepresented (nearly 78% of the time), while Black individuals were only represented 11% of the time, per a 2021 JAMA Network Open study.

Platforms like H1 could help pharma companies and researchers pinpoint physicians who are working with diverse patient populations. Clinicians could then direct their patients to enroll in clinical trials. In fact, H1 already has around 100 clients, including pharma giants like Novartis and AstraZeneca.