KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (WPVI) -- Clinical trials help drive medical advances. However, some patients hedge at taking part because reimbursement for their expenses take time.
Now, a King of Prussia company has speeded that process to a few clicks, and it's making transportation to appointments easier, too.
Kyle Bryant has suffered from Friedreich's ataxia, a degenerative nerve disorder, since he was a teen.
He's been an activist on the disease and taken part in clinical trials almost as long.
"I was living in California at the time, and would travel across the country and stay a week in a hospital bed and get blood drawn," he said.
While Kyle was glad to help scientific research, it's been difficult at times.
"You fill out all kinds of paperwork, keep your receipts, put it all in an envelope, comply to all their rules," he said.
And then he'd have to wait six weeks for a check.
"Patients drop out of clinical trials because it's incredibly inconvenient," said Jim Murphy, CEO of Greenphire.
Murphy says his company, which specializes in financial automation, recognized that study sites have their struggles too.
"It's not a wonderful thing having a ton of cash in cash boxes," he said.
Two years ago, Kyle took part in a test of ClinCard, a reloadable debit card. Once a patient's ClinCard is established, money is loaded after each research visit... no check, no cash.
It's instant money for the patient, and instant documentation for the trial site.
"In clinical trials, you have to provide a tremendous amount of compliance data on every dollar spent and every data point collected," Murphy said.
Kyle's ClinCard also works for multiple trials, at multiple hospitals.
He says many with serious disorders would like to join studies, but can't work full-time, so money is tight.
"Any way we can reduce the barrier to participating, no matter what it is, that's what we want to do," Kyle said.
ClinCard is now also being teamed with Lyft, providing patients with local transportation to study sites.
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