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Research and Clinical Trials

Research for Hope—and Health

About Our Research and Clinical Trials

Research offers hope and changes lives.

  • Participating in research provides you access to medical advances months or years before they may become widely available for routine care while allowing you a more active role in your healthcare.
  • By building the foundation for better treatments and outcomes in the future, it also offers participants an opportunity to positively impact the community and future generations.

For these reasons, Spectrum Health offers participation in research as part of your care options.

Patient Participation

Some trials can be as simple as filling out surveys or questionnaires. Others may involve taking medication, using a device or trying a new procedure. You may be required to undergo additional tests such as having blood drawn or having X-rays taken. As a participant, you may also be required to consult with your physician.

Clinical research trials vary in the type of volunteers needed. Some trials require participants with certain medical conditions and others may require healthy volunteers. The inclusion of specific populations helps ensure similarities and aids in clearer results.

Maintaining the safety of participants is just as important. Exclusion criteria helps to keep people safe by eliminating participation for those that the trial could cause more harm than benefit. For example, a person with kidney failure may be harmed by participating in a clinical research trial that requires the kidneys to remove the trial drug from the body.

Other steps are taken to ensure safety to participants. All research conducted at Spectrum Health has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before participants can be enrolled. It is the responsibility of the review board to make sure the trial is safe and that the benefits of participating in the trial outweigh any possible risks.

Clinical research trials must be conducted according to strict guidelines and regulations that are designed to protect participants’ rights and well-being. There are always risks and possible side effects in research. However, some of these same risks are common during routine medical treatment. Participants are made aware of any known risks before agreeing to take part in a trial and kept up to date as more become known. Participants can withdraw from a research trial at any time.

“Research represents HOPE, and for many patients and families HOPE is the best we have to offer. We pursue our investigations so that one day we can offer HEALTH.” - Judah Folkman