WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Minority Quality Forum announced today a collaboration between its National Health Index (NHI) and Microsoft Corporation to launch the National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN) designed to address important challenges in clinical trials—accelerating recruitment and diversity. The relationship allows NCTN to deliver a platform that provides a comprehensive database of clinical trial options to providers. "It's our view big data will change the way we conduct clinical trials moving forward. What makes the NCTN platform unique is it will provide an interactive, communications portal linking researchers to practicing physicians whose diversity of patients may be candidates for clinical trials," says Gary Puckrein, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum. "Being able to quickly link the broader community of medical researchers, practicing physicians, tertiary care centers, and allied health professionals together, we can expedite discovery and translational research." NCTN will also be a data warehouse (patient registries, bio banks and community-level health statistics), transforming isolated data repositories into an integrated, searchable, national archive, permitting the rapid identification of representative samples of risk populations who might benefit from a proposed therapy. NCTN will maintain searchable profiles of clinical research institutions, experienced clinical investigators and those interested in being a clinical researcher. Its investigator registry will provide background information on investigators, their practices and the communities that they serve. "This collaboration with the National Health Index is truly a 21st century healthcare venture, using big data and Microsoft's proprietary software to give the research community a vast array of information and communications tools," said Michael Robinson, Vice President of U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft. "We fully expect NCTN to transform clinical research in the United States." "Biopharmaceutical companies continue to explore new ways to further enhance awareness and participation in clinical trials by a diverse patient population," stated Salvatore Alesci, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "PhRMA applauds partnership efforts such as the National Clinical Trial Network that seek to promote awareness and create connectivity that can translate into increased diversity among clinical trial participants." NCTN will be introduced fourth quarter 2013. For more information, please visit www.nctrialnetwork.com. The National Health Index (NHI) is a wholly–owned subsidiary of the National Minority Quality Forum. NHI provides unparalleled internet access to the most comprehensive reservoir of healthcare information at the zip code level. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, obesity, and other common and rare chronic diseases represent the NHI repository, powered by a database that represents more than 800 million patient files.