OCT Conference Reflections: Embracing Gamification for Patient Engagement 

As I sit down to reflect on our recent participation at the Outsourcing Clinical Trials (OCT) Conference in Barcelona, one particular theme stood out vividly: the undeniable interest and curiosity about our approach to patient engagement through gamification in Replior’s ePRO system. 

OCT was a fantastic 2-day gathering full of networking opportunities and engaging discussions, most of which were triggered by our booth’s big statement “introducing gamification in clinical trials.” We found ourselves approached and asked specifically about which gamification elements we chose to include, in which  Replior products, and if we have seen significant results.   

Patient drop-out continues to be the challenge 

On our first day at OCT, the conversation kicked off with an attendant asking, “What gamification features do you implement? I’d like to know as we’re still struggling to retain patients in our clinical trials.” You will not be surprised to read that the patient drop-out rate is still close to 30%, according to Forte Research. The reasons for this high percentage can vary from the costs of a clinical trial to the travel burden on patients, as well as the lack of engagement and motivation – particularly if the tasks a patient is asked to do are repetitive, boring, or time-consuming

This is where our gamification approach comes in, offering a dynamic and interactive experience that not only encourages the participants in our clinical trials to stay committed and compliant but also makes the entire process more enjoyable and rewarding. 

What are those gamification features we can adopt in clinical trials?  

Gamification is a technique that can be used in systems such as Electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePROs) to create similar experiences to those we have while learning a new language on an app like Duolingo to motivate the users and keep them engaged and compliant.  

In the course of a clinical trial, patients are tasked with answering extensive questionnaires and completing diaries repeatedly, a task that while might seem boring to them, is crucial to gather data regarding patient’s quality of life and safety. This is where gamification is a game changer.  

“Introducing gamification with Trial Online has improved the satisfaction of our patients and therefore increased the robustness of the database.”  

Diego Herrera Egea, Director Clinical Data & Digital Innovation, Almirall  

The power of gamification lies in its ability to tap into fundamental human desires for achievement, creativity, recognition, and social interaction. Here’s how we adopted gamification in our ePRO.  

Replior ePRO is designed to make the patient’s journey in a clinical trial more exciting and engaging. Through the ePRO app, users can track their activity and study progress, receive notifications that guide their activities throughout the study and alerts that serve as reminders of pending tasks. Upon the completion of tasks, patients earn badges and prizes celebrating not only their progress in the study, but also their efforts to complete the required questionnaires or eDiary entries.  

We’ve seen what gamification can do. It makes a difference.  

After tracking the patient engagement and retention rate in several of the clinical trials using the Replior ePRO app, we have seen that incorporating gamification elements into our study apps makes a difference.  

Looking closely at one of these studies, a phase III actinic keratosis study involving 105 patients across 20 US sites, where diary completion was required, the results of incorporating gamification elements into our Trial Online ePRO platform speak for themselves.  

of patients completed  
the study  

of total patient visits (622 visits) were completed  

of patients installed  
the ePRO app  

diary completion between eDiary and paper version  

Learn more about the impact of gamifications in clinical trials

About the author:

Picture of Maria Milas

Maria Milas

Certified clinical research professional (CCRA) helping drive innovation and change in clinical research. Passionate about collaborating with the product management team in developing technology tools that reshape healthcare but also about crafting and disseminating thought leadership content that represents our commitment to innovation.

Connect: Font Awesome Icons
Share Article

Related Posts

Lighting the Way

How Replior’s integrated UV monitoring improves patient engagement in the Almirall AKtive trial, a phase IV study.

Read More

SCAPIS Case Study

Case study: How SCAPIS Study Collected and Analysed More Than 30 Million Datapoints in Trial Online EDC 30,154 participants 450,000

Read More