Keytrials – Clinical trials discovery platform

Keytrials is a clinical trials discovery platform. It makes it easier for clinicians and patients to find trials that are open with a goal to increase trial recruitment and improve visibility of clinical trial activity at University College Hospital, London.

We built Keytrials for our clients at UCL Hospitals, London with funding from the NIHR CRN. It currently consists of a website frontend and backend infrastructure. Native iOS and Android mobile applications were also developed. Keytrials distinguishes itself from other trial search engine as it was designed specifically to help clinicians search and filter by criteria that is meaningful to them. It is currently tailored for haemato-oncology trials but can be tailored for any form of clinical trials.

Design Principles

  • Enterprise-grade open source technology components
  • Code is open source to facilitate collaborative developments
  • User centred – initially clinician focussed but easily extendable to lay audiences
  • Open APIs and to avoid data lock in and to facilitate integration with other platforms and Electronic patient records (for e.g. Epic)
  • Incorporate clinical informatics principles such as terminology standards (SNOMED-CT, ICD-10) and interoperability standards (HL7 FHIR, CDISC-ODM)


Keytrials is built using modern Web 2.0 technologies and makes use of HTML5 and JavaScript for the user interface and is designed to run on all modern web browsers that support HTML5 and CSS3. The backend uses mature Java enterprise technologies (e.g. Spring, Hibernate, etc.). There is a clean separation of its backend layer from the user interface and persistence layers. This makes it easy for other 3rd party applications and other apps to plugin into the RESTful service layer.

On going Development

We are working with UCLH to make Keytrials available for use for all trials offered by UCLH. This on-going work will cover:

Integration with their EHR (Electronic Health Record) system – Epic.

Integration with their internal trial management database.

Support for SNOMED CT coded inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Extension of functionality to include other specialities – lung cancer, neurology, rheumatoid arthritis