The Verana Research Network to help advance and democratize RWD-based ophthalmology research


Verana Health

Much of the success of clinical trials is dependent on the ability of researchers to collect enough quality data to determine the efficacy and safety of a drug or medical device, which can be costly and time consuming. 

Another barrier for clinical research has been accessibility, since participating in trials can often require significant time and travel. While the adoption of decentralized clinical trials in the wake of COVID-19 is starting to help make research opportunities available to a greater number of patients and practices, more still needs to be done to increase clinical trial patient diversity, accrual rates, and the ability to better identify which patients will be a match for trials. The longer it takes to conduct clinical research, the longer the wait for effective treatments for diseases, including rare diseases.

Introducing the Verana Research Network

That’s why we’re proud to announce the Verana Research Network, an American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) initiative to help advance data-driven clinical research and improve the quality of patient care. A collaboration between Verana Health and the Academy, the Verana Research Network consists of academic medical centers (AMCs) and ophthalmology practices joining together to utilize de-identified real-world data (RWD) curated from the IRIS Registry and Verana Health capabilities to help improve patients’ access to and streamline healthcare providers’ execution of clinical trials. 

“With the Verana Research Network, the Academy and Verana Health are helping clinical trial sites run data-driven trials that can potentially bring therapeutic innovations to patients faster.”Rahul Khurana, MD,
Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates

The IRIS Registry is one of the largest specialty society clinical data registries in all of medicine, containing de-identified medical records of more than 75 million patients stretching over nine years. Verana Health is proud to be the end-to-end data and technology partner for the IRIS Registry, managing the registry with its VeraQ® population health data engine. Verana Health is responsible for data curation, electronic health record (EHR) integration, analytics, practice support, and quality reporting for physicians contributing to the IRIS Registry. 

Now, with the Verana Research Network, Verana Health is also helping IRIS Registry participants, and the patients they support, to more readily connect with clinical trial opportunities.

Benefits of the Verana Research Network

There are ten founding practices and institutions participating in the Verana Research Network—including Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates—and we are now inviting additional practices across the IRIS Registry to participate. The founding sites are experienced in conducting clinical trials, committed to advancing data-driven clinical research, and will use Verana Health’s clinical trial technologies to help accomplish these goals.

The Verana Research Network helps benefit trial sponsors, ophthalmology practices, and the patients they support, in significant ways. By being part of a research network supported by the Academy—and leveraging Verana Health’s advanced technologies—practices that opt-in will be notified if they might be an appropriate study site and/or whether they have any patient profiles suitable for select Verana Health-supported trials, regardless of the study phase or the practice’s electronic health record system. 

Verana Research Network members also have access to the Verana Trial Connect (VTC) platform to help accelerate trial recruitment. VTC streamlines patient recruitment and engagement for certain clinical trials by helping securely provide investigators and physicians a curated list of their own patients who may qualify for clinical trials.

Practices that opt-in to the Verana Research Network also have the opportunity to be a part of innovative clinical research and take advantage of future opportunities, such as prospective evidence generation that incorporates patient-reported outcomes to determine how well a treatment is working. Prospective evidence generation using curated RWD helps trial sponsors isolate specific cohorts of de-identified patients, monitor them to determine whether a novel treatment is working, and then embed patient-reported outcomes. 

As part of the Verana Research Network and a broader IRIS Registry benefit, practices can also opt-in to a program that allows clinical trial sponsors to see certain practices that may be a suitable site or referral practice for trials. This site selection capability will be available to sponsors in 2023.

The Verana Research Network is the First-and-only Academy-backed Clinical Trials Network 

The scale and scope of curated data from the IRIS Registry helps provide researchers with a comprehensive picture of the patient journey and helps give physicians and their patients increased opportunity for access to clinical trials. And as the Verana Research Network grows, its value to life sciences companies, physicians, and patients is only expected to increase.

“Our members are always seeking ways to provide the most up-to-date and the highest quality care to their patients and this joint initiative between the Academy and Verana Health is another example of how the IRIS Registry supports innovations that will improve this care. The Verana Research Network will help speed access for ophthalmology patients to participate in clinical trials that develop impactful and effective therapies to help protect patients’ sight.”Stephen D. McLeod, MD,
CEO, American Academy of Ophthalmology

The Academy continues to work to make the IRIS Registry a world-class, innovative clinical registry. This benefit to participating practices looks to bring together the ophthalmology community and advanced technology to help impact the way physicians facilitate trial recruitment. As a strategic data and technology partner to the Academy for nearly five years, Verana Health is proud to bring the Verana Research Network to ophthalmologists to help enable clinical trial efficiencies and opportunities.  

Request more information on the Verana Research Network at [email protected].

*IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) is a registered trademark of the American Academy of Ophthalmology®

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