Manuri Gunawardena (2010) helps expedite COVID-19 research

Past student, Co-founder and CEO of the HealthMatch App, Ms Manuri Gunawardena (2010), has joined forces with medical researchers around the world to help find a cure for COVID-19.

The HealthMatch App, which pairs patients with relevant clinical trials, has released a global COVID-19 clinical tracker to map developments on research breakthroughs. HealthMatch opened its platform to help recruit coronavirus patients to expedite COVID-19 research, and allow researchers and the general public to monitor, and understand, the progress of potential treatments.

Through the app, Manuri and her team are tracking more than 220 clinical trials nationally and helping find appropriate participants for each trial.

Ms Gunawardena said with the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world, and global trials now well underway, the importance of clinical testing is urgent, and for many countries, critical.

‘In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, HealthMatch will provide free patient recruitment services to all organisations (public and private) for coronavirus research. This includes pharmaceutical, biotechnology, not-for-profits, universities, government, and other organisations unified in the fight against COVID-19.

‘The devastating impact of COVID-19 is being felt globally, highlighting the importance of medical research and the critical role it plays in our fight against deadly pathogens.’

Ms Gunawardena also acknowledged those making significant progress in understanding COVID-19.

‘Joint efforts in the medical field are yielding significant results with several new diagnostic tests now in production, and repurposed medications and innovative vaccines entering clinical trials—the power of working together in this time of crisis is being seen firsthand.

‘We hope that as a wider lesson from COVID-19, the spotlight is directed to the importance of supporting medical research and clinical trials to find new medicines for the many medical conditions for which we have no treatment.’

Once a vaccination has been created, and the curve has flattened, Ms Gunawardena hopes to continue her work to bring medical professionals and patients together.

‘When this all settles and hospitals return to normal function, and clinical trials resume, we’ll be there to continue to support our patients, doctors and scientists to provide new medicines out to those who need them  most.’

Read more about Ms Gunawardena’s passion for pairing patients to life-saving clinical trials.