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Comparative Medicine: Bridging animal and human health

Comparative Medicine: Bridging animal and human health

Pets and humans share a bond beyond relationship. We share similar diseases, immune and therapeutic responses. Disease models in companion animals provide predictive data and evidence for the use of therapeutics and diagnostics in humans. The field of comparative medicine provides an avenue for the acceleration of the delivery of effective treatments for both humans and animals.

While “Of Mice and Men” is a timeless piece of classical literature, mice are not men. Mouse and laboratory models do not always translate well to humans in addition to their stigmatic elements. On the other hand, companion animals, who live, eat, and breathe together with us, share significant genetic and phenotypic traits. As the pet has grown to be a member of our families, we have come to expect the level of veterinary healthcare that we have become accustomed to for ourselves. The drive for better outcomes in healthcare for humans is no different than the demand for the same in pets. Effective comparative medicine studies and innovation will move forward diagnostics and treatments in both the human and pet health space. Initiatives such as the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium, through the NIH National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research are leading the charge in the fight against cancer.

The field of comparative medicine holds the promise of bringing medical discovery to patient care in a more precise and effective fashion. There are barriers that limit the use and impact of studies in this area. Many studies are performed via local principal investigators or clinical champions, relying on their direct oversight and intervention in subject selection and data collection; when conducted by clinical champions, the invested time may conflict with other patient or clinic obligations. These factors reduce the number of enrolled subjects and can create a potential bias in data and records.  Multi-site clinical trials are challenging due to disparate taxonomy, unintegrated data systems and a lack of real time coordination between the planning and execution team of clinical studies.

Clinical trial planning and execution processes are highly precise and expensive. That precision is integral in the planning phase, where retrospective data is mined to design and validate a study. Data mining and cleaning is an expensive and time-consuming task for research teams, especially when there are multiple sources of data or open-source datasets. Optimally, real-world data sources that are harmonized across multiple sites would accelerate the planning phase of comparative studies.

Once in execution, data points harnessed from pre-clinical trials inform the research and life sciences communities of the safety and efficacy of their discoveries. To attain the accuracy necessary to improve the success outside of pre-clinical trial activity, there needs to be sufficient data, data quality, and clear data provenance. 

Our ResearchGENUS solution addresses the current constraints in conducting effective comparative medicine studies. We provide real time access and connectivity to veterinary patients affected by diseases and targeted conditions for both retrospective and prospective studies. ResearchGENUS integrates clinical trial protocols into treatment planning and guides data point collection and completeness, ensuring high quality and consistent data collection across all subjects. The provenance of data generated in clinical trial activity is assured as participation is directly linked to patient medical records. As the number of clients using ResearchGENUS grows, comparative medical studies will be completed at revolutionary scale and efficiency.

If you are a veterinary clinic or research institution and want to hear more of how our solutions can improve the outcomes of clinical studies and patient care, contact us to discuss your needs and schedule a product demonstration.