Clinical Trial Recruitment Needs to Grow With Technology
Patient recruitment is still a huge hurdle in clinical trials. Following our other articles, we understand that it can be hard to encourage people to participate in a risky, inconvenient and time-consuming process. Due to the fact that trial sponsors are slow to implement new technologies compared to other sectors, this could be one of the reasons why they continually face slow patient recruitment.
Based on a Tufts study, two-thirds of clinical trial sites do not meet the enrollment requirements given for a trial. This could be based on several factors but patient experience plays a pivotal role.
If there are new innovations that could improve patient recruitment why aren’t sponsors using it?
Can social media break the relationship boundaries between sponsors and patients?
In this article, we will explore ways in which new trial designs and social media can be used to increase the level of interest in patient participation.
Traditional Process of Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are naturally time-consuming and can last a very long time (years). In the past, patient data was recorded manually using case report forms (CRFs) and patient reported outcomes (PROs). Arguably, these aren’t the most efficient ways of collecting data as it was hard to keep tabs on every patient if something or someone responded differently to a drug.
In the past, some people didn’t even consider clinical trials as a possibility. A survey by Harris Interactive in spring 2000 showed that 8 out of 10 cancer patients were unaware that clinical trials were an option.
Traditional clinical trial procedures are definitely outdated and need to grow with society. The way in which patients were recruited and informed about clinical trial opportunities were not as efficient. The lack of trust between the patients and sponsors significantly affects the patient recruitment process.
Social media is the biggest platform of influence. Not only does it allow businesses and people to build an online presence but it is easier to get feedback and build communities for different interests.
A company such as PatientsLikeMe has made good use of the online community. Traditionally, employees or suppliers are used in gaining ideas and services, but if sponsors use social media, they could gain content and assistance from a huge group of people all over the world from different backgrounds and ethnicities.
Social networking can be a revolutionary approach that researchers and patients can adopt. Creating platforms where other patients can share their experience with like-minded individuals helps to build a sense of community which people love. This process also makes it less stressful when recruiting patients because the recommendations are based on interested candidates.
If sponsors used social media not only will they gain the patient’s trust they will also subconsciously create a huge amount of awareness to the world.
So, despite the increase in innovation why does Patient Recruitment remain an issue?
Until sponsors and researchers embrace new technologies, patient enrollment will continue to be an issue.
Social media is FREE! Building an online presence is FREE!
In order for researchers to gain more trust and transparency, there must be more online communities where people can freely gain more information and real-life experiences.
We are putting together a conference that will tackle patient recruitment, as well as the challenges faced by the early stage companies based in the Pacific Northwest region of the US and Canada.
The Outsourcing in Clinical Trials Pacific Northwest event will provide a unique platform for an informative two days of constructive networking and in-depth presentations on the latest challenges and developments facing the clinical operations and outsourcing community in the region.
For sponsorship opportunities please contact: Nicholas McCudden | Email: NicholasMcCudden@arena-international.com. For program enquiries please contact: Chloe Roberts | Email: Chloe.Roberts@arena-international.com | Tel: +44 207 9366822
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