Struggling to retain patients in the clinical study?
No patients, no clinical trials.
Firstly, we can only assess the safety of new medical treatments by reporting side effects or adverse events by studying the study participant’s experience during the clinical trial. Secondly, without patients, we could not evaluate the efficacy of the treatment being studied as we would not have any information on the therapeutic effects and outcomes. What’s more, a diverse spectrum of patients is necessary to ensure that the trial results apply to a broader population.
From a regulatory aspect, without patient data in a clinical trial, we can’t generate the data that contributes to knowledge about disorders and the development of treatments. Therefore, we can all agree: success in clinical trials starts with optimal patient recruitment and retention.
Most clinical trials struggle with patient recruitment and thankfully, technology has lately provided a variety of tools and platforms that enhance patient recruitment efforts, making it easier to identify and connect with potential participants for clinical trials. Nevertheless, we need these clinical trial participants to remain in the study until the end for the sake of data integrity and research outcomes.
According to CenterWatch reports, the average dropout rate across all clinical trials is an alarming 30%. There is a number of reasons why these patients drop out of the study. Some due to the inconvenient location of the clinic or financial constraints, others due to side effects or condition not improving, but there is one reason that stands out in this survey: the lack of appreciation and engagement.
How is our ePRO designed to ensure patients are engaged and feel appreciated?
An ePRO system, by its own definition, is a tool tailored to capture the patient’s direct responses to questionnaires or surveys on an electronic device (smartphone, tablet, computer) instead of a paper document. By using an electronic device, it is easier for the patients to record their experiences in real-time, which provides healthcare professionals with more timely and reliable information for clinical decision-making and research purposes.
With that in mind and the goal to reduce the patient’s feeling of lack of appreciation and boost engagement, Trial Online ePRO introduces gamification elements.
Three gamification elements to improve engagement and feeling of appreciation
Tailored notifications. The ePRO should allow all types of notifications to be sent to the participant’s electronic device. From clinical trial protocol-related guidance to treatment instructions, and upcoming visits information. The same communication channel could be used to motivate the participant’s activity in the study by sending personalized messages that guide, train and support the participant whenever needed.
Tailored awards. The ePRO tool should show appreciation for the efforts of the clinical trial participants to complete all protocol-required activities and tasks through awards, motivation is high throughout the study to provide those required key data points at all times.
Study progress. Participants should see their progress status at all times in the ePRO: time and effort invested and time and effort pending to be invested until study completion. Knowing the progress and where it stands in relation to study completion, boosts motivation.
Patients play the most essential role in clinical trials and their continuous and engaged participation is crucial for regulatory approval and the generation of valuable data for understanding disorders and developing effective treatments. Technology has provided innovative solutions to enhance the experience of the clinical trial participants but it is equally important to ensure that patients remain engaged and appreciated throughout the study. TrialOnline ePRO has embraced these three gamification elements and the results speak for themselves.