One of the more significant findings from our “Mind the Gap” study is that trials teams are overwhelmingly occupied with patient recruitment and retention. So it is with much interest that we join the raging debate on the role of technology in this process. We see three distinct ways in which information technology is changing the dynamics of recruitment and retention.
- Socially driven information exchange and awareness. Earlier this week, Quintiles announced the formation of digital unit to boost online clinical trials recruitment. This is not the first CRO to do so, and we expect many more to head this way. Regulatory authorities are scrambling to keep up with the market, with efforts to date leaving much to be desired. Nevertheless, addressing patient motivators continues to be high priority, and we expect online resources to continue increasing their role.
- Mobility and convenience lower barriers to participation, increase ease of staying the course. Earlier we wrote about how mobile apps will drive self service. We expect this to change the way investigators and monitoring staff engage patients, and more importantly, how data collection and verification is executed.
- More information to the patients and more data from patients will add pressure on data management teams. We expect the more informed and participative patient to demand seamlessness between health records and trials engagement. The data harmonisation agreement between CDISC and IMI is an important starting point to address this emerging imperative.