Clinical research is changing, and young Scottish company eClinicalHealth is leading the change with new software that gives patients a key role in the discovery of novel, life-saving treatments.
Here, Co-founder and Chief Executive Doug Bain tells us about the company’s ambitious plans for changing the face of the British research sector, and the exciting vacancies that it’s looking to fill here in Scotland.
I set up eClinicalHealth in 2012 to focus on the development of a new type of clinical research cloud platform – Clinpal - to help engage patients in clinical trials. It’s very exciting because the Clinpal system is designed to engage people in research often involving new therapies, which could potentially save lives. Clinpal gives power to the patients to help make their own decisions.
Our software is hosted online and the platform has been designed to be very cost -effective. The average cost of typical commercial systems for clinical trials is from £50,000 - £200,000, so if you’re a doctor and want to do your own research it’s very expensive. What we’re doing will enable much more affordable research in the UK. In 2016, our aim is to provide the platform free for investigator-initiated studies.
I founded it as a Scottish company because I feel very strongly that Scotland has a good combination of skills, low cost of living and high quality of life that makes it an attractive place to live and work.
Working for eClinicalHealth
When staff come into the company, there are a number of routes they can take. They can either go down the project management route, into the more technical side, become experts in the support field, or do consulting.
We use a cloud-based system so we’re looking for software developers with cloud skills like Java and GWT. We’re also building up a services organisation to help support the deployment of the system so we need service staff with experience in clinical research.
As well as this, we operate our help desk out of Scotland and want to grow that service, so we’re looking for people across a range of business support functions who can roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
There’s a great opportunity to be very hands-on, solve problems and learn a lot. In a large company there are boxes which you sometimes have to fit into. We don’t have those boxes and we’re looking for people who have innovative minds and don’t want limits on what they can do.
Our staff are passionate about making a great solution that makes a difference to peoples’ lives.
Working in Scotland
The cost of living in Scotland is very reasonable and the quality of life– particularly in Stirling, where we’re based – is excellent. It’s also not far to the airports in Edinburgh or Glasgow if you want to catch a flight.
The people here are very friendly and we have some world-class institutions in the area of clinical research, which makes it an excellent place for us to be based.