A Founder’s Perspective: 2018 Year in Review

Shree Kalluri
January 29th, 2019

Each year, Forte strives to help customers unleash their research potential, and 2018 was no exception. We had another remarkable year at Forte, with innovations and developments to our products and services, growth at our company and in our customer community, recognition within the clinical research technology industry, and in giving back to our community with volunteer work and community service.

I want to share some of the highlights of 2018 with you. This year and all its successes would not have been possible without the ongoing collaboration of our customers, and for that we thank you.

Company Growth and Achievements

Our Forte team is always expanding to better serve our customers. As of the end of 2018, our team in Madison, Wisconsin is 180 strong, and our team in Bangalore India stands at 77 members, up from 48 at the end of 2017!

In our ongoing commitment to security and regulatory compliance, Forte earned its ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 Certifications. These certifications involve ongoing quality management processes and validations to ensure our continued compliance.

This year, Forte conducted a survey on the clinical research industry, and released the results in the 2018 State of Technology in Clinical Research Report, unveiling key trends in technology usage and adoption across the clinical research space.

Giving back to the community is an important part of our culture as an organization at Forte. Our staff has logged 2706 hours of volunteer time off in 2018 alone. Also, this year Forte sent two teams of volunteers on international service trips to Greece and Guatemala, and sponsored James Madison Memorial High School’s All School Read project.

Celebrating Community, Welcoming New Members

Everything we did in 2018 would not have been possible without the members of our powerful customer community. From collaborating on product development to supporting one another in sharing best practices, we thank our community for all of their contributions.

This year, our semiannual customer conference reached an important milestone as well. Our spring event was our 25th Onsemble Conference, and brought together customers and Forte team members for education, networking, and sharing of industry best practices.

We also welcomed a number of research institutions to the Forte customer community, including City of Hope National Medical Center, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine and Nationwide Children’s Hospital as new OnCore users.

In addition, we welcomed the University of Chicago Cancer Center and Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute – our first two customers that adopted EVAL first, using our new Rapid Value Implementation, which got them up and running in just five weeks.

New This Year

To help continue our efforts to empower our customers to reach their research potential, Forte launched Forte Managed Infrastructure, which relieves all system infrastructure burden from customers and shifts it to Forte. This allows them to focus on more critical tasks and leave the technical infrastructure management to the experts at Forte and provides a significant cost savings. It also allows for easier and smoother upgrades, enabling customers to take advantage of innovations sooner.

We also launched several envelope-pushing features in our existing products, including Member Scenarios and Master Delegation of Authority, further allowing our customers to become centers of excellence.

2018 also saw the launch of two new services: Budgets and Coverage Analysis, as well as institution specific guidelines (ISGs) for our Calendars service, which crossed the milestone of successfully delivering over 10,000 protocol calendars!

Looking Forward to 2019: Transforming the Clinical Research Industry

Leveraging our 18 years of experience in developing clinical research technologies, we made strides this year in what we see as the future of clinical research – a portfolio-based approach, impacting all clinical research by leveraging the sites and their technology.

Trial Data Exchange

In the fall of 2017, we introduced to the community to Trial Data Exchange (formerly known as DIRECT).  Trial Data Exchange is an initiative based on building relationships and improving communication between research sites and sponsors through a study-specific data exchange. We launched the Trial Data Exchange consortium in spring of 2018 and held the inaugural industry roundtable at the Fall 2018 Onsemble Conference, which brought together representatives from research institutions and sponsor corporations for open discussion about how they can better work together. We also launched a pilot with a top-ten pharmaceutical company to exchange data on Enrollment and Visit Visibility to give sponsors insight into the day to day operations of their trials.

Comparative Analytics

This year, we also launched an exciting new network-wide data platform called Comparative Analytics that we’ll be continuing to develop in 2019 and beyond. Within this platform, we started our Sponsor Scorecard pilot with the University of Michigan, which will give institutions an objective way to give sponsors feedback on their performance compared to other sponsors.

Other initiatives include multi-site coordination for our eRegulatory Management system, lab results integration using FHIR for our Forte Electronic Data Capture solution, and ongoing efforts to help our customers using eReg and Research Evaluation System (EVAL) continue to be as successful as possible.

In collaboration with the Society for Clinical Data Management, Forte took part in the eSource Implementation Consortium in 2018, which works to “agree upon standardization of the clinical research data set that will enable faster adoption of eSource in the form of direct data transfers by academic sites and sponsors.”

I’m truly grateful for all that we have been able to accomplish this past year and I am eager for us to take on what lies ahead in 2019.

From all of us here at Forte, happy new year!