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Clinical Research Sites Open in Canadian Walmart Stores

Walmart entrance

Entrance to Walmart store in Pincourt, Quebec, Canada (Bull-Doser, Wikimedia Commons)

17 Sept. 2019. A collaboration between a research company and local health clinic chain is enabling customers at Walmart stores across Canada to take part in clinical research studies. Financial aspects of the partnership between Elligo Health Research in Austin, Texas and Jack Nathan Health in Georgetown, Ontario are not disclosed.

Jack Nathan Health operates a chain of self-contained medical and dental clinics located at some 70 Walmart retail stores in six Canadian provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. The clinics, operated under contract to Walmart, provide family health services by appointment, as well as walk-in services. In addition, Jack Nathan Health can provide an annual health assessment that includes physical exam, lab tests, and fitness and diet assessments.

Elligo Health Research is offers clinical research capabilities as a service for physicians’ offices and clinics. The company cites data showing only 3 percent of physicians and their patients take part in clinical trials. To make it easier for medical practices to participate in trials, Elligo Health Research offers a technology package that accesses a physician’s electronic health records, enabling medical practices to take part in clinical studies with little up-front investment. The company says participating practices that meet its standards are designated as research-ready sites.

For clinical trial study teams, Elligo offers a service called GoesDirect that connects study sponsors and commercial research companies to research-ready sites. Elligo says it queries electronic health records at its participating sites for criteria matching patient recruitment needs for clinical trials, and matches patients to study teams. The company cites its own study showing this approach recruits and randomizes three times the number of trial participants as conventional methods. This approach, Elligo adds, also increases diversity of clinical trial samples.

The agreement gives Elligo Health Research exclusive access to Walmart’s health clinics in Canada operated by Jack Nathan Health. The Walmart clinics will offer clinical research participation to their patients as a health care option. Jack Nathan Health clinics will be designated as research-ready sites by Elligo, and participating patients will be eligible for enrollment in clinical trials through GoesDirect.

“Partnering with Elligo,” says Jack Nathan Health co-founder and  CEO George Barakat in an Elligo company statement, “gives us the opportunity to stay informed of the newest advancements, improve our cutting-edge facilities, and continue to meet our patients’ health care challenges.”

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