Ride Health, coordinating smarter transportation for every patient need, is partnering with the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (CoVPN), a network for large-scale vaccine and therapeutic testing established by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). CoVPN is the harmonizing entity among the five Operation Warp Speed-backed Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials.
Each study is anticipated to enroll roughly 30,000 people, with a focus on enrolling individuals at risk for exposure to COVID-19. In addition to providing transportation for all vaccine trial participants, CoVPN has partnered with communities historically affected by socioeconomic disadvantages and health inequities, including those currently facing high risk of infection and death from COVID-19. Individuals interested in potentially volunteering to take part in a current or future COVID-19 prevention clinical trial should visit the CoVPN website for more information and to join the CoVPN volunteer screening registry.
Ride Health is providing participants with transportation to local trial sites when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 after receiving a vaccine or placebo. Tracking and verifying COVID infections among participants is crucial for obtaining enough data between vaccine and placebo arms to draw conclusions on safety and efficacy, making timely and safe transportation an important resource for study teams at more than a hundred trial sites across the country currently testing the vaccines.
“As we were preparing to work with trial sites and sponsors this summer and fall, we knew that transportation would be a significant challenge given sensitivity of travel with COVID-positive individuals. We needed a partner who could reach national scale quickly to create a consistent and reliable experience for our trial sites,” said Dr. Troy Martin, Chief of Staff at CoVPN.
Since the middle of March when the need emerged, Ride Health has built the nation’s largest network of COVID-equipped transportation providers. The national network is able to safely transport COVID-19 patients using non-emergency transportation services and providing significant cost savings. All drivers follow Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) guidelines and state-mandated precautions, including the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfection of all high-contact surfaces between rides, and maintenance of partitions within the vehicle to separate the front and back seating areas.
Study coordinators can request rides on behalf of participants within the Ride Health platform, where a native COVID-19 screening captures each participant’s COVID-19 status. This screening is factored into the automated decision logic for trip assignments and ensures rides are fulfilled by individually vetted transportation providers equipped to meet driver and passenger safety standards. Once the platform schedules a trip, participants navigate rides via text message, automated phone call, or inbound phone system to ensure consistent access regardless of their comfort with technology.
“We are humbled to play a small role in helping with these historic vaccine trials,” said Amin Farhoomand, Health Services Market Lead at Ride Health. “Each potential illness visit provides another data point around safety and efficacy, so we take seriously the responsibility to help those illness visits -- whenever and wherever they arise -- happen in a timely manner.”
CoVPN was established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases part of the National Institutes of Health, to be a ‘harmonizer’ among the trials by merging four existing NIAID-funded clinical trials networks: the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), based in Seattle; the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), based in Durham, N.C.; the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC), based in Atlanta; and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, based in Los Angeles.
The network’s vaccine testing is led by Larry Corey, M.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and Kathleen M. Neuzil, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The network’s monoclonal antibody clinical testing efforts is led by Myron S. Cohen, M.D., of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and David S. Stephens, M.D., of Emory University in Atlanta. The HVTN, which is based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is the CoVPN’s operational center.
About Ride Health
Ride Health partners with healthcare organizations and transportation network providers to manage transportation benefits, strengthen enterprise transportation programs, and drive intelligent transitions of care. We blend technology and data with a human approach to break down access barriers and solve some of the biggest transportation challenges that care coordinators, providers, and payers face. Our platform maps out each patient’s unique needs and preferences for the best ride experience across clinical and social needs, ensuring greater access, improved efficiencies, lower costs, and better outcomes. Learn more at www.ridehealth.com.