ReferralPlus is a tool to match patients who disqualify for one study with others they might qualify for, using a geo-therapeutic matching algorithm with other studies, similar to how OpenTable matches people with the restaurants they are interested in by using demographic and time availability algorithms. It was created because 95% of patients who respond to a trial recruitment advertisement do not qualify and/or enroll in that study. 

Most of those patients never enroll in another study. 

In 2012, ePharmaSolutions, developer of ReferralPlus,  organized more than 30 major pharmaceutical companies and CROs to participate in the pilots to determine if they could help increase enrollment rates by triaging/matching patients who disqualified from one clinical trial to trials listed by other participating sponsors. The pilots started at the end of 2013 with the early results showing a significant improvement in cross-study matching which will offer significant advantages to pharmaceutical companies recruiting patients while providing patients with more opportunities to find the right study.

The pilot data came from three pharmaceutical companies who listed their studies on the CenterWatch™ web listing service and used the ReferralPlus™ screening and matching solution. None of the pilot studies included an advertising outreach budget.
  • 33% of the total patients who screened for one study were eligible for and referred to a study site
  • 18% of patients who disqualified from the first study, pre-qualified and were referred to another study
  • 50% of patients who disqualified for any of the studies listed, registered to be contacted about future studies
"The data is especially compelling due to the small number of studies we piloted with a low number of sites and absence of real direct-to-patient outreach," noted Wes Martz, Head of Patient Recruitment and Retention for ePharmaSolutions. "As we move into production with hundreds of studies and thousands of sites, the chances to match pre-qualified patients with actively recruiting studies will increase exponentially, proving a valuable service for patients while decreasing overall recruitment costs for the industry," Martz added.