Wake Forest Baptist, Oracle and Javara launch community-based COVID-19 research study

April 13, 2020

In an effort to better fight COVID-19 in multiple regions of the country, Wake Forest Baptist Health has joined forces with  Javara Inc. – a leading integrated clinical research organization headquartered in Winston-Salem – to conduct a community-based research study of the novel coronavirus.

As part of that effort, Wake Forest Baptist and Javara have collaborated with Oracle to develop its Patient Monitoring System, a web portal designed to collect daily information across a large population of participants.

Atrium Health, one of the largest health systems in the Southeast, and MedStar Health, the largest health care system in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. region, have joined the project. Plans are under way to extend this research study to additional health systems across the country.

The goal of the study – which will employ online data-gathering and at-home rapid diagnostic kits — is to help the medical community better understand the pandemic and regional infection patterns to develop strategies and treatments to contain and possibly eliminate this novel coronavirus in defined communities.

The North Carolina General Assembly is providing $100,000 in immediate funding to allow researchers to purchase and mail at-home test kits to participants in a subgroup of the study.

“This study should rapidly allow us to define the epidemic on a regional basis and establish the framework to both track the disease in real time and answer critical secondary research questions,” said John W. Sanders, MD, principal investigator of the study and chief of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist.

All data will be shared in real time with appropriate government agencies such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and state and local public health departments, Sanders said.

“We’re humbled to contribute to such an urgent study as it illustrates clearly the connection between community partnerships and global public health,” said Jennifer Byrne, CEO of Javara Inc. “Right now, information is our most valuable weapon, and by integrating community-based clinical care with remote-enabled clinical research, this project will contribute vital information to the fight against coronavirus.”

The study began the process of enrolling participants last week.

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