For years, clinical trials have relied upon online advertising as an important tool for informing the public about research study opportunities. As technology has advanced, those in charge of trial recruitment and enrollment have been able to employ tools and solutions that allow them to better target audiences more likely to fit their studies’ eligibility criteria. While the ability to mine data to better identify those patients is obviously beneficial to sponsors, the practice raises questions and concerns around data privacy.
It is normal to feel uneasy when it feels like advertisers know more about you than they should. Certainly, privacy concerns are top of mind as many mainstream online players take steps to make consumers more comfortable about their online activities. While targeting strategies and techniques may be overused or even misused by others, when it comes to clinical research the end goal is simply to inform and benefit as many patients as possible.