By Ian Greenfield, Patient Engagement, YPrime
When it comes to patient engagement, the experience and technology gaps apparent in the clinical trial space have resulted in a lag for virtual technologies designed to offer comparable functionality to those pioneered by other sectors. In the consumer market, engagement through technology means allowing customers to set their own goals, overcome challenges, receive real-time feedback, and make transparent progress. Anyone who uses an Apple Watch®️ or FitBit®️ is intimately familiar with these techniques as they “close their rings” or reach their “10,000 steps.”
Accessibility issues impacting both patients and providers, coupled with a reluctance to revisit the protocols and controls that have been well-codified over decades of research, have served to slow the adoption of remote and virtual technologies for the clinical trial space. The limitations of DCTs for certain applications, patient populations, and trial parameters have tempered the initial excitement surrounding the concept; more recently, many in the clinical trial space have begun to explore the benefits of hybrid trials, which combine many of the established advantages of a brick-and-mortar trial site with digital tools that can improve tracking, bolster communication, and improve data breadth and depth.
Patients have come to expect consumer-grade quality across their virtual experience. Facilitating this quality in eClinical applications has the potential to revolutionize the clinical trial space, helping sponsors better understand patient behavior, drive participation, and improve adherence through proven behavioral science principles.