The National Academy of Science found patient dropout rates to be as high as 30% in clinical trials, yet few new strategies to improve patient engagement and retention have been proposed despite calls for better trial design and conduct to limit the impact of missing data2. Missing outcome data caused by patient dropout and poor compliance not only jeopardizes the scientific validity of a study, but also comes at a significant financial cost to sponsors.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has estimated the cost of enrolling and retaining a single patient in any phase trial at nearly $36,000, highlighting the importance of improved retention techniques to protect the significant financial investment made in trial participants3. Regulatory changes have led to a 70% increase in study duration and a 65% increase in the number of trial protocol procedures over the past decade, which further exacerbates the challenge of participant retention4.
Fortunately, technology offers an opportunity to address this challenge in novel ways by enabling more patient-centric practices to be implemented and ultimately accelerate drug development5.