Health technology is moving from general wellbeing, such as step counters, to clinical trials and the digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team (digital ECMT) team is leading the way. Established in 2016, the digital ECMT is part of Caroline Dive’s CRUK Manchester Institute Cancer Biomarker Centre and is closely aligned with the Experimental Cancer Medicine Team (ECMT) at The Christie. Our mission is to innovate and apply digital science to transform decision-making in early clinical trials and the patient’s role. We have two primary goals:

  • To change the conduct of clinical trials
  • To change the exploration and interpretation of clinical trial data in real-time

What Do We Do?

We bring researchers, clinicians, technology and patients together to innovate in early clinical trials. Our aim is for patients, carers and families to work in partnership with researchers on clinical trials and new technologies.

We have a Patient Design Lab in the clinical research facility at The Christie so that we can talk with patients, carers and staff to share ideas and see if they work.

Achieving patient engagement and digital innovation in early clinical trials needs partnership and expertise. The digitalECMT also delivers the leading iDecide research programme, a 5-year, £11.5M collaboration between four strategic partners in cancer research; the Cancer Biomarker Centre, the University of Manchester, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and AstraZeneca.

Patient Voices in Early Clinical Trials

Developed with patients, PROACT (Patient Reported Outcomes About Clinical Trial Tolerability) is a mobile phone app or website tool. Patients taking part in a clinical trial send video, voice or text messages to their medical team to say how they are feeling, and the medical teams can send messages back.


Going digital

We developed eTARGET, a digital decision-support tool to support the Manchester Molecular Tumour Board as part of the TARGET trial. eTARGET integrates clinical and genomic NGS data to facilitate decision-making for matching patients with clinical trials. This digital tool shows genetic results alongside clinical data for each patient in an easy to use visual display. One of the main benefits has also been that attendees can participate from any location, making a virtual tumour board possible.


TARGET (Tumour chARacterisation to Guide Experimental Targeted therapy) is an innovative trial. It is investigating the molecular profile of tumours by genetic analysis of tumour tissue and circulating tumour DNA from blood samples to match patients to experimental (early phase) clinical trials.

What are our Future Plans?

Through direct patient engagement, technology assessments, advanced data analytics and visualisations we are developing the clinical trials of the future. We are currently exploring ways to increase patient participation in trials, to conduct monitoring and measuring in the home, to apply predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms. All with the aim of transforming the way that decisions in cancer treatment are made.

Together with patients we have started a clinical trial-in-the-home approach to monitor kidney function. This means that patients could monitor their kidney function at home using a device and an app. The aim is that more patients could take part in early clinical trials in the future. This is just one of the many ideas we have to improve patient outcomes.

Who to contact?

If you would like to know more or make contact with the digital ECMT please email

Related Items

digitalECMT (Experimental Cancer Medicine Team) - Projects

Related Links

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