Gligorijevic, J.*, Gligorijevic, Dj.*, Pavlovski, M., Milkovitz, E., Glass, L., Grier, K., Vankireddy, P., Obradovic, Z, (2019) ” Optimizing Clinical Trials Recruitment via Deep Learning,” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 2019, pp. 1195-1202, doi 10.1093/jamia/ocz064.
*Authors contributed equally.
(Impact Factor: 4.270)


Objective: Clinical trials, prospective research studies on human participants carried out by a distributed team of clinical investigators, play a crucial role in the development of new treatments in health care. This is a complex and expensive process where investigators aim to enroll volunteers with predetermined characteristics, administer treatment(s), and collect safety and efficacy data. Therefore, choosing top-enrolling investigators is essential for efficient clinical trial execution and is 1 of the primary drivers of drug development cost.

Materials and Methods: To facilitate clinical trials optimization, we propose DeepMatch (DM), a novel approach that builds on top of advances in deep learning. DM is designed to learn from both investigator and trial-related heterogeneous data sources and rank investigators based on their expected enrollment performance on new clinical trials.

Results: Large-scale evaluation conducted on 2618 studies provides evidence that the proposed ranking-based framework improves the current state-of-the-art by up to 19% on ranking investigators and up to 10% on detecting top/bottom performers when recruiting investigators for new clinical trials.

Discussion: The extensive experimental section suggests that DM can provide substantial improvement over current industry standards in several regards: (1) the enrollment potential of the investigator list, (2) the time it takes to generate the list, and (3) data-informed decisions about new investigators.

Conclusion: Due to the great significance of the problem at hand, related research efforts are set to shift the paradigm of how investigators are chosen for clinical trials, thereby optimizing and automating them and reducing the cost of new therapies.