New tool available to explore feasibility of multi-site clinical studies

October 02, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute now offers a tool for research population discovery and study feasibility for multi-site clinical studies. The Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT) Network is a real-time, open-access platform for researchers throughout the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium. The tool is used to explore and validate feasibility for clinical studies using electronic health record data. 

The ACT Network was developed collaboratively by Clinical and Translational Science Award hubs with funding from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science. The ACT Network currently contains more than 125 million patient records, including from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Using ACT, investigators can:

  • Explore patient populations in-depth, in real-time.
  • Confirm study feasibility by iteratively testing and refining inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • Demonstrate study feasibility in funding proposals and IRB submissions.
  • Identify potential partners for multi-site studies by searching for patients across the Clinical and Translational Science Award network.

The ACT Network currently contains de-identified data from 41 Clinical and Translational Science Award organizations across the country, expanding to 57 later in 2019 (almost 100 percent of the consortium). It is open access and free to all Penn State researchers.

To request access and learn more about ACT, visit

The ACT Network joins Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s other research-population discovery tools — Informatics and Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2), and TrNetx. Penn State PaTH To Health data set is also available through the institute. Learn more about the institute’s research tools at

ACT Network is part of the institute’s Informatics Core. Informatics consultations are available to assist in the integration of informatics in translational research activities, integration of electronic health records, and design, implementation and deployment of advanced data analytics. To request a consultation and request institute services, complete a service request form.

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute is a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium. It provides tools, services and resources to help Penn State researchers, educates the workforce and promotes collaboration.

Last Updated October 16, 2019