Securing the right patient for a study is a crucial aspect of success in any clinical trial, but without the effective utilization of technology the process can be time-consuming, administratively taxing, and expensive.
Ad placements, surveys, interviews, preliminary tests, and more can take a serious toll on even the most organized and experienced research teams. Worse still, failure to reach recruitment targets can have a dramatic impact on product development timelines, forcing delays, cost overruns, or even cancellations of trials entirely.
On the other hand, social media, online outreach and advertising, mobile tech, and artificial intelligence are set to bring the next breakthrough innovation for clinical trial recruitment.
With so much of your time, money, and sanity on the line — and yet so many innovative technologies before you — why leave one of the most central components of product development to chance? Instead, you have the option to:
With roughly a third of product development costs occurring during the clinical trial phase, perhaps the bigger question is: why wouldn’t you use the technological experience of patient recruitment experts to help you with the efficient recruitment of patients and to control overruns and stay on budget?
Whatever the aims or needs of your study, a tech-savvy partner that can utilize digital solutions creatively will allow you to focus on what you do best — developing and testing the products that will improve patients’ lives.
So, how can a recruitment partner ensure you have the right patient for your study? We believe that delivering the right patient requires effective pre-screening, innovation, and global reach – each of which can be accelerated via technology.
Effective pre-screening starts with understanding the goals of your study and the patients who can help you reach those goals. With this knowledge in hand, there is a wealth of technology at your fingertips to reach these patients to pre-screen them and ensure they meet your clearly-defined eligibility criteria.
From telephone screening to online surveys, modern technology is taking the guess work out of patient recruitment strategies for clinical trials. In the past, you may have had a vision of your ideal study pool, but the realities of the recruitment process would push you in another direction. With today’s technology-assisted outreach processes, recruitment can be much more streamlined because the hard work of generating leads, reaching out to those leads, and pre-screening them can be automated.
With patients all over the world encountering targeted digital ads, taking pre-screening surveys, and signing up to receive trial updates, recruitment firms have a rolling pool of potential applicants screened, engaged, and ready for your review. Starting with a base of pre-screened applicants allows you to find the right patient for your study from an interactive database of patients around the world who are willing and able to participate in your research.
In addition, technology makes it possible to self-correct target audiences in real-time if a certain platform is proving ineffective. This can shrink your timelines in an increasingly-competitive market. When this technology is handled by a recruitment partner, the time and cost savings are even greater. At CLARINESS, our online and phone screening allow us to ask potential study patients questions related to the study criteria so that only those individuals who meet the criteria are forwarded to the sites. This reduces site burden significantly. We can then harness technology even further to closely monitor enrollment status until you have the number of patients you need to deliver quality trial results.
New innovations, from mobile applications, wearables, interactive data displays, and even virtual and augmented reality, are making huge waves within healthcare, and within patients’ lives. Pharma must embrace and deploy these technologies or risk falling behind. What better way to deploy them than by harnessing them to deliver the right patient to your study? Not only does it get drugs to market faster, but it also saves time and money.
CLARINESS has used online survey recruitment, push-notification retention methods, and a suite of engagement tools to boost compliance rates and reduce relevant costs by up to 50% during a trial. Much of these savings were aided by the latest applications in technology and data science, helping pharmaceutical partners secure the high-quality patient referrals they needed to meet their timelines.
In particular, cutting-edge patient portals, such as our own ClinLife, creates an active base of potential patients interested in participating in clinical trials. Using these tools, firms can quickly implement screening criteria, manage and sort potential patients, and acquire the ideal mix and number of patients required for the study. These technologies have greatly compressed the recruitment and onboarding timeline. Within weeks, companies can design and roll out a successful digital recruitment strategy that delivers the right patient every time.
Once patients are in the door, ClinLife also allows for the implementation of a retention and monitoring program. From appointment reminders and file storage, to unique online engagement and compliance strategies, these innovative solutions offer flexibility and efficiencies that help ensure quality recruitment and set the trial up for a successful completion.
Outdated and expensive recruitment methods like direct mail and in-person strategies may produce referrals but are increasingly uncompetitive in the face of more innovative practices. Using highly-focused digital advertisements in local languages, digital recruitment firms can directly target potential patient groups based on demographics, location, or other variables that cannot be controlled by more traditional methods.
These new technology-driven methods of outreach consistently build pools of potential patients that more closely resemble the patient persona required for the study. At CLARINESS, we track patients from ad click to randomization. With a comprehensive, customized report we can also monitor current recruitment status and site performance so problems can be detected and addressed immediately. In addition, ongoing analysis is conducted to help minimize ad spend.
With a growing body of research demonstrating the importance of diversity among clinical trial participants, quickly and accurately achieving the ideal patient mix will be an advantage for firms who embrace this insight.
The worldwide digital services available to researchers today can help meet even the most demanding recruitment targets. Using data science and analytics to filter through a global pool of potential patients and match them based on pre-defined criteria, the recruitment process can be systemized — with only the right patients being targeted.
Imagine contracting a clinical trial in a new country. In the past, your company would need to hire a local team, research the culture and most effective means of spreading the word about your trial, and spend time and money on advertising and recruiting. Despite all this effort, you would likely achieve unreliable results. Today, virtual advertising tools like geofencing, demographically segmented email lists, and direct-to-consumer SMS marketing allow you to more precisely target your message and achieve better results.
For multinational companies, fast and efficient recruitment is essential, and that is what you get from partnering with modern, high-tech patient recruitment services. Whether you need patients for trials in North America, Europe, or beyond, the right technological network and infrastructure will help deliver the right patients in the required numbers.