Oldhamers urged to help save lives by supporting COVID-19 research

Date published: 31 July 2020

Scientists trying to combat coronavirus are urging people in Oldham to share their experiences of living with disease in their community following the recent spike in cases.

The IQVIA COVID-19 Active Research Experience (CARE) survey is examining all of the factors involved in the recent outbreak and those elsewhere, including residents’ social circumstances.

Its team has issued an appeal for people aged 18 and over to volunteer to tell their story of how COVID-19 has impacted upon them and those around them, whether or not they have had - or have been tested for - the disease.

Researchers hope the experiences in Oldham could provide valuable insight into all of the factors linked to localised outbreaks to influence future prevention strategies.

They are looking into how personal circumstances, ethnicity, age, type of employment and underlying health conditions all impact upon how people have been affected by the illness in whatever way. 

In addition, IQVIA CARE is seeking to establish the role of vitamins, herbal medicines and prescription medicines in symptom relief, or preventing recurrence of COVID-19 related illnesses.

Citizens of the Greater Manchester town can sign up to the IQVIA CARE survey at: www.helpstopcovid19.com

Participants can - if they wish - consent to further follow-up, including taking part in additional clinical research, such as COVID-19 clinical trials of potential treatments that may ease symptoms - and potentially save lives.

Tim Sheppard, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Northern Europe at IQVIA, said: “We believe the experience of people in Oldham could prove important to the research we are doing in the UK.

"We are carrying this out alongside similar real time surveys in the USA, by inviting the public to come forward and help society learn more about COVID-19.

"We want to help identify the most effective treatments and understand any other factors that help lessen the toll of this virus, and the UK getting back on its feet as soon as possible.

“It is vital that Oldham is fully represented in the real world research during this really challenging time for it as a community, to reflect the new reality that different localities experience different patterns of COVID-19.

“We believe global collaboration through building registries like CARE, will help provide the critical missing insights to beat COVID-19.

"To realise this, it needs people to sign up, so we can learn as much as possible, as soon as possible, to save lives.”

IQVIA CARE is an international public research survey, led by IQVIA, a global leader in clinical trials and real world evidence research.

IQVIA is also delivering the UK COVID-19 treatment clinical trial, ACCORD, involving UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute for Health Research and partners in the pharma, biotech sector and the UK government.

The IQVIA CARE survey aims to:

Capture COVID-19 in the UK community and record symptom severity and progression over time.

Provide understanding of individuals at highest risk of developing serious consequences from exposure to COVID-19, for example, the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities and the elderly.

Help understand the role of personal and social circumstances, non-prescription and prescription medications, and to learn more about whether herbal remedies, vitamins, and alternative medicines make the COVID-19 symptoms better or worse.

Assess the impact of self-isolation and the UK lockdown strategy and crucially provide valuable data to inform the exit strategy on easing lockdown, and the National Health Service (NHS) response to any second wave of the virus.

Volunteers who join the IQVIA CARE survey can, in complete confidence, share basic demographic information, any current symptoms, and some medical history.

They will thereafter be periodically prompted to provide updated information about any symptoms and diagnosis status in order to create a worldwide picture of virus progression over time.

IQVIA will apply decades of privacy protection expertise in handling personal health information for research purposes, employing a wide range of methods to secure, manage, and report information responsibly.

IQVIA CARE received UK Ethics Approval and will employ a variety of processes, safeguards and controls in connection with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and other regulatory requirements.

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