Introducing Power
Making Clinical Trials Accesible to All, One Click at a Time
Power Clinical Trial Search Pagewithpower.com
Brandon
Bask
by Brandon Li & Michael “Bask” Gill, Co-Founders The clinical trial system sucks. It’s opaque, confusing, and hard to navigate for patients and loved ones already facing an extremely stressful time of life.Yet clinical trials are essential, both for the development of new treatments and for patients in need of innovative options. The process allows people to get early access to new drugs that are still being investigated — which helps the patient, the researchers, and every future patient who would benefit from better FDA-approved treatments.U.S. clinical trials currently have shockingly low participation rates. Just 5 percent of American adults have ever participated in one, and over 80 percent of trials are delayed because of lack of enrollment. Of course, clinical trials should have a rigorous acceptance process because of their experimental nature. But it’s actually patient accessibility — not safety — that is the main barrier. Today, the best option to learn about new trials is through clinicaltrials.gov. Launched in 2000, it’s a clunky, government-run website that is confusing and hard to navigate.ClinicalTrials.gov Trial Search PageClinicalTrials.govThere has never been greater demand for new treatment options from both patient and research communities. Clinicaltrials.gov, for example, has seen a 22x increase in organic traffic over the last seven years, according to Ahrefs data. This skyrocketing demand is the result of patients being more active in their own treatments than ever before, and breakthroughs across the medical landscape (e.g., precision immunotherapy medicines to treat cancer, and psychedelics and virtual reality to alleviate depression). We are living through a cambrian explosion of medical innovation, but the ways patients can participate in this revolution are stuck in the past.Today we are introducing Power. Our goal is to bring the process of discovering and accessing clinical trials into the future. We believe groundbreaking therapeutic options should be available to all patients — regardless of geographical location, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. We want to equalize a process that historically has left out women, minorities, and those without financial means or sophisticated medical teams. This will help patients while also unblocking the clinical trial recruitment system. In doing so, we hope to accelerate the process of medical research.
Personal frustration and inspirationBefore founding Power, we spent our careers building consumer-focused platforms for other traditional industries. We met at Setter, a digital marketplace for home services which was acquired by Thumbtack in 2020. Shortly after the acquisition, we realized that we shared the common experience of witnessing family and friends run out of cancer treatment options.Brandon watched a close friend wade through the confusing and exhausting quagmire of finding and enrolling in clinical trials. After her cancer relapsed, she had to find second-line treatment options for a brain tumor. She eventually enrolled in a trial, thanks to the kindness of strangers on the internet who helped her jump the many hurdles she encountered in her search.Bask faced a similar struggle when his father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. It was his first time dealing with clinicaltrials.gov, and it took him months to try to figure out what options would be most promising.In a world of quick access to limitless information, it should not have been so hard to discover emerging treatment options. In a weird way, we realized that looking for a clinical trial felt similar to looking for a general contractor: essential information is disparate; language is coded with jargon; experts can be dismissive; and, in many cases the professionals are less responsive or available than you would like.We’ve solved marketplace problems countless times before. So we decided to embark on building a true patient-first experience for those seeking out clinical trials. By enabling the connection between patients and researchers, we’re helping people in need of cutting-edge medical care, while also helping further medical advancement that’s potentially life-saving for many others
Bringing inclusion to clinical trialsTrials have traditionally relied on recruiting patients who were being treated at large, prestigious medical institutions. Patients who get referred tend to have help from top medical teams who are well networked in the research community. Translation: white people of means have had disproportionate access to clinical trials.Inversely, those in smaller communities or rural areas, those without access to top doctors, and people of color have all been dramatically under-represented. Why does this matter? Because when trials aren't representative, the drugs we approve are more likely to fail, or cause harm, in the population at large.In building for the historically underserved, we re-examined all the ways that trials have historically been presented. We made it easy to search by location to help find trials being run out of community clinics nearby. We talk about risk transparently (some patients may be more willing to participate in a trial where less is known about safety). And we make it easier to search by individually specific considerations like genetic markers. In time, we want to simplify logistics and make smarter recommendations based on each person’s profile.With these concerns in mind, we created a comprehensive patient education resource to search every trial currently available in the United States. Today Power includes over 30,000 clinical trials and 100,000 researchers spanning 10,000 medical conditions. We quietly launched a beta version of the site nine months ago and have received an incredible response.Power seed round information and investorsShout out to our investorsLife science companies are reaching out to us to help them find patients, patient advocacy organizations are excited by our work, and physicians are praising our product. And most importantly, we're on track to help over 500,000 patients discover clinical trials this year. We measure success not just by these incredible numbers but by the diverse patient base we’ve been able to help access clinical trials, which in turn makes treatments for varying races and ethnicities more accurate.Coming face to face with the shortcomings of the clinical trial system inspired us to create a platform that can do better. At Power, we’re building technology to help people access potentially life-saving options, accelerate development of new therapies, and address the diversity gap that has long hurt the industry — and we’re just getting started. We believe that dealing with a serious medical condition is hard enough. Accessing any and all available treatments shouldn’t be.Power homepagePower's path to the right trial