The 4 must-have characteristics for finding the right patient engagement technology provider

patient engagement characteristics

The life sciences community is a powerful force determined to bring hope and healing to people around the world through relentless research and exploration. By pushing the boundaries of what is scientifically possible, we are opening extraordinary possibilities for present and future generations.

However, the process of launching and completing clinical trials can be time-consuming. Research has indicated that 80% of delays in trial timelines are attributed to inadequate recruitment and patient retention rates. Additionally, patient engagement should be prioritised throughout the study period to maximise compliance and minimise dropouts or withdrawals. This means that sponsors must invest a considerable number of resources into ensuring they have the right strategies in place to meet their desired recruitment targets and make it easy for participants to take part in the trial.

In recent years, clinical trial volume has risen dramatically; meanwhile, trials are conducted across a wider range of geographical areas. Patients also have higher expectations than ever before, and conducting research with decentralised approaches calls for an all-encompassing strategy. Delivering on the promise of ‘patient convenience’ is not a simple task. It requires an experienced team, expert understanding, and advanced technology to really make a difference in the experience of participants.

To achieve true patient convenience, it's imperative to bring these elements together into an integrated solution. When selecting a technology provider to support patient convenience initiatives, it is important to evaluate them based on four key criteria:

Patient flexibility: Participant preferences, time constraints, distance, number of visits and effort all contribute to a positive patient experience. Offering flexibility is key to success; this includes providing access to medical information via mobile app or web through various devices, as well as accommodating different transportation needs. When it comes to reimbursement for expenses and time, clinical trial stakeholders must recognise the varying financial situations of participants and tailor solutions accordingly. By understanding individual capabilities, resources, and requirements, sponsors can create an inclusive and sustainable experience that will benefit all participants.

Align with global needs: To offer successful global patient convenience programs, solutions and services must be tailored to meet the needs of participants worldwide, while adhering to local regulatory and privacy requirements. This includes providing flexible payment methods, currencies, transportation, and lodging options that are specific to each region. Additionally, participant support should be available 24/7 in local languages with regional resources. Therefore, it is essential for providers to build localised compliance into their offerings for these solutions and services to prove valuable in all countries where trials are conducted.

Embedded expertise: Conducting clinical research is complex and requires a deep understanding of highly regulated sectors. Sponsors today need to collaborate with providers who have the necessary skills to navigate these complexities, while providing patient-facing technology across continents. Expertise in areas such as privacy (including GDPR), banking, tax management, travel arrangement, and more must be built into eClinical solutions for compliance and successful trial operations. Knowledge of global rules and regional preferences/behaviours is essential for successful execution, from product design to delivery. Experienced providers offer sponsors peace of mind that their trials will be properly conducted.

Dedication to innovation: Innovation in clinical trials is essential to ensure that trials run faster, more reliably, and with improved participant experience. But not everything is designed equally. It takes a combination of dedicated resources, feedback from multiple stakeholders, the willingness to listen and adapt as needs evolve, and keeping up with industry developments to remain an innovator. This collaborative approach ensures that solutions are dynamic and meet the needs of all involved, despite changing market conditions. New technologies hold great promise for continually improving the process for everyone's benefit.

In closing

Achieving true patient convenience in clinical trials means having the right elements integrated into an efficient solution. There are a variety of considerations to keep in mind when planning out these initiatives. It’s time to think deeply about digital approaches that are specifically designed for the participant to ensure success during their clinical trial journey. This mission takes pioneering industry experts and teams that are dedicated to continually innovating, so patients across the world have access to the best care possible.

Kyle Cunningham
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Kyle Cunningham