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Case study

Accelerating diverse, equitable and inclusive clinical trial participation


HealthMatch is working to change the future of medicine by connecting patients with clinical trials using a novel, patient-first profile-matching based approach. Their relationships with patients have given them a unique perspective on many of the challenges faced by patients in discovering, accessing and engaging in the clinical trials that would bring tomorrow’s treatments to market.

The biopharma industry and regulators are collectively aware of these challenges, their implications for the development of new treatments, and most significantly the unevenness of challenges faced across the population. There are real and significant issues with diverse, equitable and inclusive clinical trial participation today.

The challenge

HealthMatch knew that it had a unique perspective on the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) challenges faced by the industry today: Unlike incumbent organisations and competitors, HealthMatch has a direct connection to every single patient on its platform and a rich profile containing dozens to hundreds of medical and personal datapoints. In short, they were positioned to reframe the conversation about these challenges from retrospective longitudinal analysis to quantified, real-time exploration of contemporary issues.

HealthMatch had an ambition to lead the industry in improving DEI outcomes to change lives, improve the safety and efficacy of treatments and create health equity for historically underrepresented patients. However, they had limited capacity to take on this challenge themselves, and wanted to ensure their work was holistic, thoughtful and could easily be engaged with and understood by the industry at large.

"We have worked with Snowmelt for years. Having a partner that knows us and can deliver what we need from a 15-minute conversation is invaluable."
Manuri Gunawardena, Founder and CEO of HealthMatch
What we did

Snowmelt leveraged our knowledge of the drug development process and biopharma industry developed through a long partnership with HealthMatch to build a frame of reference for the challenges involved, engage with patients, analyse their responses and package them for delivery to industry.

Key activities

  • Co-created an end-to-end view of the drug development process.
  • Facilitated a series of workshops to identify and classify the major patient-related challenges, and how they interact with DEI issues.
  • Designed a patient engagement survey and delivered this to HealthMatch patients.
  • Analysed responses and identified a series of insights for the entire population and key subsets.
  • Developed a 75-page report for industry outlining the challenge, our process and insights; together with a supporting microsite and one-page summary.
patients were given a voice to drive industry change
industry partners expressed interest in follow up engagement with HealthMatch - so far!

1 new product developed

and integrated into HealthMatch's operations

"We're still continuing to see the impact of the work we did with Snowmelt - with our patients, partners, and the new opportunities we've unlocked."
Manuri Gunawardena, Founder and CEO of HealthMatch
Project Insights
  1. People engage in complex stories when they can see themselves and their perspective. This is particularly important when readers are gaining new information, or exploring the views and concerns of others.
  2. Long-term partnerships make it easier to work quickly, leveraging shared context, knowledge and experience to adapt work for maximum impact.
  3. Customers and stakeholders are ready and willing to engage - if someone else takes the first step. We saw exceptional levels of engagement from patients to help change the future of medicine; and incredible interest from industry in understanding the work undertaken and collaborating on further work.

We ran one of the largest patient engagement surveys ever to explore diversity in clinical trials

We worked with the HealthMatch team to connect with patients on their platform and deep dive into their honest opinions on what it's like to engage with clinical trials and the health system. Impactful work in diversity cannot simply be reduced to a single number or metric. Instead it's about reconnecting the qualitative and quantitative to build a holistic picture. We captured the perspectives of patients through personal stories and lived experiences, identifying patterns and opportunities for progress that mattered most to real people.

The HealthMatch team took this project global to share how to create change directly with industry stakeholders

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Tim Tompson
Co-Founder and Principal
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