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Clinical Research Organisation Richmond Pharmacology, Able to Continue Operations During COVID-19 Due to Efficient Contact Tracing Tool.

Clinical Research Organisation Richmond Pharmacology, Able to Continue Operations During COVID-19 Due to Efficient Contact Tracing Tool.


Richmond Pharmacology overview

Based in central London, Richmond Pharmacology is a full-service clinical research organisation. It supports sponsors expediting their drug development journey from Phase I, II and III and helping to bring new medicines to market faster. 

Committed to improving patient safety through its work and training provided to its staff. The organisation employs more than 160 researchers and typically sees over 72 volunteers through its doors each week.

The Challenge

It was imperative the organisation remained as operational as possible to continue their range of patient trials and advance the development of medicines in multiple therapy areas.

As experts in the field, Richmond Pharmacology understood the importance of COVID-19 testing, and immediately introduced rapid PCR tests among other safety measures for any person entering the clinical unit.

PCR tests were performed every two days for staff, visitors, and volunteers. However, infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus sometimes does not show up on PCR tests for up to approximately four days after it has been contracted, so it is possible those with negative results are in fact carrying and spreading the virus. Richmond Pharmacology needed a solution to quickly identify and alert anyone who had come into contact with a staff member or volunteer who had falsely tested negative.

The Solution

Richmond Pharmacology has been utilising Contact Harald’s innovative tracing technology since November 2020. Contact Harald’s Bluetooth-enabled cards form the basis of a local contact tracing system for all staff, volunteers, and visitors to Richmond Pharmacology. No one entering the facility is exempt from possession and display of a card once it has been issued.

Should a positive COVID 19 test result occur on Richmond Pharmacology’s premises, Contact Harald’s system provides a tailored, accurate record of staff, volunteers and visitors who have been in close contact with the affected person within the previous 21 days. Anyone who is a recorded close contact is sent a text message to inform them and are required to take a PCR test. They are also advised to take precautions, such as self-isolation, until a test result confirms they are not COVID-19 positive. 


Contact Harald has enabled Richmond Pharmacology to operate contact tracing in a clinical environment. Providing detailed tracking of an individual’s movements and those they have come into contact with, enabling notification of potentially at-risk individuals within minutes rather than hours. Alongside the latest testing equipment, the organisation is able to operate a robust infection control system to ensure the safety of patients, volunteers, and staff. The system is fully compliant with GDPR regulations and fully secure.


In the last five months, the facility has experienced two occasions where Contact Harald has been activated due to COVID-19 positive individuals. The system allowed them to quickly inform other staff members so they could be tested immediately and ensure further transmission had been halted.      

Quote: Anne-Marie Leech, Head of Marketing at Richmond Pharmacology commented: “It is so important we continually deliver clinical excellence, but we can only do so if our staff and volunteers are safe and able to participate in research. Contact Harald has allowed us to quickly and effectively contact trace to ensure we control and reduce the risk of additional COVID-19 cases. We have needed to use the system and were able to notify recorded close contacts of the COVID-19 positive person within five minutes, and test immediately.”

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Last Updated: 11-May-2021