SubjectWell is the patient connection platform that is raising awareness of clinical research in the general population, providing patients with more choices and easy access to innovative treatment options. To learn more about the company, Pulse 2.0 interviewed SubjectWell CEO Fred Martin.
Fred Martin’s Background
Over the last 25 years, Martin worked in almost every aspect of the healthcare industry (clinical outcomes, clinical workflow, clinical trials, EHRs, patient outcomes, and experience in hospitals, physician practices, LTPAC, etc.).
“Most recently, I was COO for Medrio, where we launched multiple products that led to five years of double-digit growth. Prior to that, I was VP of Product Management at Sigmacare, where I led the company to a successful exit,” said Martin. “Earlier, at PointClickCare and Premier Inc. Healthcare, I built high-performing product teams and designed go-to-market strategies to capitalize on unrealized opportunities in the long-term care, hospital, and health system spaces. As for education, I have a Communications BA from the University of Colorado Boulder, a Master of Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business.”
What are Martin’s primary responsibilities at SubjectWell? Martin’s primary focus as CEO at SubjectWell is accelerating the growth of our services and solutions, creating a high-performing global team, growing the world’s largest patient platform, and building relations with investors.
“SubjectWell is a company with a tremendous opportunity that will revolutionize the clinical trial industry with innovative technology and an expansive patient reach. In my first month at SubjectWell, I’ve been constantly impressed at how much we’ve accomplished, but many opportunities remain, and I can’t wait to tackle them,” Martin added.
Favorite Memory Working For SubjectWell
What has been Martin’s favorite memory working for SubjectWell so far? Martin told me that his favorite memory was his first day at SubjectWell.
“No matter who you are or where you are in the org chart, the first day can be nerve-racking. I walked into a room full of excited, engaged, and enthusiastic people who made me feel at home right away,” Martin reflected. “There was an openness and energy I hadn’t felt in a long time of a passionate team that wants to change and grow. This is a culture that values collaboration, respecting people’s authentic selves, healthy conflict, and solving problems. I know it isn’t one specific memory, but rather 209 people rowing together who welcomed me on board right away.”
Challenges Faced Building The Company
What have been some of Martin’s biggest challenges in building the company and has the current macroeconomic climate had any effect on the company?
“There are many challenges in building a company, most of them center around culture and aligning and motivating employees. Luckily there isn’t much to do there. SubjectWell has not only created one of the best cultures in the industry but also a passionate and mission-driven team,” Martin acknowledged. “My goal is to make sure we have a focused strategy and a clear, achievable pathway to keep everyone in sync. We will do amazing things if we stay our course and execute flawlessly. As for the macroeconomic climate, it’s still early to say whether it’s going to affect both SubjectWell and the clinical trials industry, which saw fewer trials launched in Q1 2023 compared to previous quarters. Fortunately, SubjectWell is nicely positioned to connect patients to clinical trials with over 9.5 million registered patients and growing at over 250,000 patients per month.”
What are SubjectWell’s core products and features? SubjectWell has built the largest patient connection platform in life sciences.
“This platform allows us to connect interested patients to clinical trials,” Martin pointed out. “We can get a study running in days and refer a diverse patient population (47% people of color) to accelerate development and increase access to life-saving and extending therapies. We address the largest and most costly pain point in clinical trials – patient recruiting. Our patient connection platform is indispensable to trials, using digital engagement and continuous guidance for patients to help trials recruit and launch faster.”
Below is a video about SubjectWell:
Evolution Of SubjectWell’s Technology
How has SubjectWell’s technology evolved since launching? “Since our launch, we continue to innovate our technology, products, and services. Our platform now includes medical record integration and new dashboards for sites and sponsors/CROs, and we have more targeted therapeutic areas,” Martin replied. “We added teams of medically trained professionals to continually engage our patients, ensuring they stay interested and are the perfect match for their trial. Our underlying technology evolves year over year to enable access to all data, improving outcomes, speed, and cost for our customers.”
Most Significant Milestones
What have been some of SubjectWell’s most significant milestones? “In 2019, we had our millionth patient register in the SubjectWell patient connection platform, and in that same year we opened our South African office, which allowed us to scale our recruitment efforts much further with a staff of medically trained personnel reaching out to patients,” Martin shared. “More recently, we’ve been able to count 18 of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies as customers, while surpassing our nine millionth registered patient. We are now able to connect patients to over 175 therapeutic areas and we are just getting started.”
Customer Success Stories
When I asked Martin about some customer success stories, he answered that the company’s customers keep their data private, but they have collected an extensive library of case studies over the last 10 years.
“Recently, a trial treating Autism-related irritability was struggling to recruit through conventional methods for over two years. When SubjectWell onboarded the study, the study fulfilled its randomization target in less than six months. Our recruitment contributed over a third of the study’s patients, and more than half of those patients were people of color,” Martin affirmed.
Right before Martin came on board, SubjectWell raised a $35 million partial series B funding round and the company is looking to round out that funding round to continue therapeutic area expansion, new product introductions and be the world’s largest patient platform for clinical trial recruitment and beyond.
Total Addressable Market
What total addressable market (TAM) size is SubjectWell pursuing? “For our near-term opportunity, we see a TAM of roughly $2.4 billion, combining our existing core market segments with more therapeutic areas, international trials, new product introductions, and burgeoning segments of the market,” Martin answered.
Differentiation From The Competition
What differentiates SubjectWell from its competition? “SubjectWell is the largest platform for connecting patients with chronic health conditions to new care options, period,” Martin explained. “We have over 9.5 million patients registered and interested in clinical trials, demographically representative of the United States with a population that’s 47% patients of color, and this reach leads to faster enrollment for trials by about 90 days. Additionally, we are constantly nurturing, re-engaging, and expanding our knowledge of our patient platform to ensure we have the right patients for the right trials. Because of our scale, we have partners who leverage our platform to help extend their own reach in supporting clinical trial recruitment. We address the industry’s biggest problem, patient recruitment, saving millions of dollars and valuable time in the process.”
What trends has Martin noticed in his line of work? “Across the board, we see patient interest in trials increase when sites and sponsors include thoughtful compensation for patients as part of participation. Now, this seems like a no-brainer, but patients aren’t getting into trials for the money. Rather, they are trying to offset the hidden costs of participating (like travel costs, time off from work, daycare, etc.). Reducing participant burden is critical in getting patients to participate,” Martin noted. “This is especially critical for underrepresented patient populations who frequently face greater burdens to participation. As there are numerous initiatives from the FDA focused on increasing patient diversity and engagement, it is imperative that we find ways to decrease barriers while increasing representation to improve outcomes and safety.”
Future Company Goals
What are some of SubjectWell’s future company goals? “We are getting ready to launch two new products that will continue to expand our patient reach, improve access to clinical trials, and provide new ways to leverage the power of our platform. We’re developing a unique offering that allows pharmaceutical companies to raise awareness and engagement of their post-approval treatments with verified patients. We are also constantly analyzing our data to find new insights and lessons to keep driving cost and time savings.”