Greater funding to shift trial to telehealth

Jun 19 2020

The Greater Charitable Foundation has committed almost $180,000 to shift an HMRI stroke fatigue clinical trial to a telehealth model.

The MIDAS2 post fatigue stroke trial has long been supported with funding from the Greater Charitable Foundation, aiming to solve one of the biggest challenges for stroke survivors – the debilitating and ongoing fatigue people experience after having a stroke.

This trial is testing a drug, modafinil, to assess how well it reduces fatigue and improves the quality of life for trial participants.

The first phase of the trial demonstrated effectiveness, and this current phase will explore the safety and effectiveness in a much larger group of stroke survivors.

COVID-19 saw an immediate disruption to many of our lives, and researchers were no different. The pandemic shut down clinical trials – particularly for people at risk which is why the team wanted to move to an online platform and take the trial to the patients.

This funding will enable them to do this.

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said that while the COVID-19 crisis caused significant challenges for the Foundation and its partners, it has been inspiring to see the partners quickly refocus their business to ensure they continue to serve their communities.

“The immediate impact of COVID-19 on the majority of our partners was significant. For some, social distancing restrictions forced a rethink of program delivery, while others pivoted their entire service model to address changing community needs,” Ms Long said.

The added benefit of the move to telehealth is that people in regional and remote areas will be able to participate in the trial, which is ideal as the burden of stroke is greater in these areas.

HMRI Institute Director Professor Tom Walley said that the move to telehealth to deliver clinical trials and health interventions is something positive that’s come out of the pandemic. “Using digital approaches will certainly be an increasing part of healthcare delivery, and we need careful research to assess its pros and cons,” Professor Walley said.

“I’m delighted that we’ve received this funding from The Greater Charitable Foundation to help us deliver a large scale clinical trial that offers hope for people living with stroke.”