Australian-developed cannabis health app OnTracka is rolling out an insights tool which will enable companies to compare the efficacy of their cannabis medicines with competitor products.
Using anonymised data from almost 3,000 users, OnTracka’s algorithm calculates the efficacy of a product in treating a specific indication among its patient cohort.
Data from all products used by OnTracka patients for that indication is collected to create an average ‘score’ against which a supplier can benchmark theirs.
Founder Chad Walkaden said the tool would also enable medicinal cannabis companies and healthcare practitioners to understand how certain products are affecting their patients.
He added: “We’re supporting clinicians to better understand how they can build a library of understanding, using real-world evidence to determine what products are best for each indication.
“And we’re providing this to licensed producers (LPs) so they can improve their product formulations and target clinicians better to sell more product.”
Walkaden said the data could eventually help support registration applications to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the industry in general.
OnTracka is currently in the market with live contracts and plans to extend the roll out from Q3 onwards.
“Ideally, we start working with a number of different LPs and provide a big enough sample to take to the TGA and say, ‘this is the effectiveness of cannabis for this indication, and these are the products that we’re seeing work’.”
Walkaden said the algorithm factors in ‘power users’ who might otherwise skew the data and that the firm will work with companies to improve the data set.
“We need to be mindful, this isn’t clinical data as yet. We need to look at the validity of the data across patient populations to determine how representative it is as a sample size,” he added.
Meanwhile, OnTracka has struck partnerships to run four clinical trials, including its first in the psychedelic medicine space. Deals include agreements with the University of Sydney and 100 Million Ways as it seeks to decentralise clinical studies via its OnTracka Research product.
Researchers from the university’s School of Pharmacy have designed a study to explore those who are currently using the OnTracka app for medicinal cannabis purposes. It is currently pending Human Research Ethics Committee approval.
Walkaden said running clinical trials through the app would significantly expand the number and range of people who could take part in research on cannabis medicines.
“In the past, patients participating in clinical trials had to go into a clinic. Typically, it’s been very hard to engage certain populations, including people from rural and regional Australia.
“We’ve got the capacity to run clinical trials direct-to-patient through OnTracka Research, which is secure, meets all privacy standards for key markets around the world, and is built with customised protocols for researchers, sponsors and academics.”
A University of Sydney spokesperson said: “We hope that this analysis will inform future research into the role of digital therapeutics in chronic illness and medication management, as well as provide real-world evidence into the effectiveness and safety of medicinal cannabis.”
And US not-for-profit 100 Million Ways has funded The Odyssey Registry, using OnTracka to support data collection to determine the impact cannabinoids can have on opioid use and PTSD.
Co-founder and executive director Brian Chadwick said: “I’m using [it] because Chad and I share visions and it is a purpose-built application for people using cannabis that provides valuable opportunities to those users.”
He added OnTracka has made “a substantial in-kind contribution” to the project, “significantly discounting its technology and expertise”.