The Global Health Network announces the launch of 'Site-Finder', a novel application of digital technology to facilitate research collaborations in developing countries
The Global Health Network is delighted to announce the launch of Site-Finder, a free and open access online facility which enables research sites to promote themselves to potential collaborators and sponsors. In parallel, research groups planning studies can let others know about their ideas and that they are looking for others to work with. Sponsors with trials can also conduct highly detailed and informative searches for trial sites that are tailored to their specific needs. Using technology adapted from dating websites, Site-Finder will automatically suggest suitable collaborations, and will inform sites of new studies which are relevant to them.
Site-Finder has been in a pilot phase for six months. During this time over fifty research sites have signed up, many making use of the ability to add photos and documentation such as training certificates. Research sites who have already posted on Site-Finder report that they were keen to sign up so as to gain maximum exposure and more opportunities to engage in research which would help address the disease burdens that have the highest impact to their communities. One investigator commented: “We are a young study site very keen to get involved in new projects. Site-Finder gives the opportunity to inform others about our site and experience”, while others have labelled the resource “an extraordinary assistance” and “an innovation”.
Site-Finder is an application within The Global Health Network, an online science park for research groups working in Global Health, and so members can benefit from being a part of the entire Network through a quick registration process on Site-Finder. Through its innovative digital platform, The Global Health Network provides open access to a wide range of free online seminars and courses, downloadable training kits, country-specific regulatory advice, articles, discussions, news, templates and tools. Individuals and organisations working in global health research have found valuable connections and resources within The Global Health Network, which has attracted more than 150,000 visits to date.
Health workers and organisations who have research facilities, or those who would like to take part in research, are invited to sign up. In addition any research groups who are planning studies, even at an early stage, can post their plans on Site-Finder and would-be collaborators can then get in touch. With increased number and diversity of the sites involved, planned studies might be improved and completed faster. Technical support is on hand to help with any questions, and the Global Health Network will be providing regular online help and demonstration sessions. To sign up for these, or for email notifications, just email site-finder@theglobalhealthnetwork.org.

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