With the digital healthcare landscape changing so rapidly, the clinical trials process has to evolve to maximize all the mobile smarts at its fingertips to recruit and engage patients. Since 2004, Tim Davis’ Exco InTouch, now part of ERT, has been working with the pharmaceutical industry to collect data from patients participating in clinical research.
It has engaged with over one million patients across 97 countries, over 26,000 hospitals and clinics, in 70 languages. Here, Davis offers some advice on how to create a flexible mobile strategy that will benefit not just the individual patient, but the study sponsors and investigators, also.
Mobile technology and wearables have been hailed by many as the golden future for operational efficiency and patient retention in clinical studies. Digital engagement expert Tim Davis discusses the pitfalls of selecting a onesize-fits-all strategy and waiting for trial processes and regulators to catch up.
Q: What advice would you give to a CRO or pharma company planning a clinical trial to incorporate mobile in the most efficient way?
A: The clinical trial process is way behind any of this technology, so you need to consider what part of it will be changed by digital mapping and mobile strategy. Recruiting patients, engaging with them, communicating with them and then collecting data is a journey that we’re on.
The big learning curve is that these are all part of the same process. The patient will not distinguish between these different parts of the clinical trial process. It will be overwhelming for them, they have a lot of things to do and there will be a lot of people talking to them in what will seem like a foreign language.
We need to remember that you shouldn’t try and compartmentalize each of these tasks which, as industry insiders, we often do. The reality for patients is that they are not a tick box. As an approach, we need to think about the process of running a clinical study and what gets impacted, but make it simple.
At Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe on 28-29 November 2017 in Amsterdam two streams are dedicated to technology and digital strategy in clinical trials. Explore the agenda here.
About the author: Jo Shorthouse is features editor for Scrip Intelligence and manages the Scrip 100 publication. Jo has covered the biopharmaceutical industry and related service industries since 2008 when she edited Good Clinical Practice journal followed by Scrip Clinical Research.