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Beyond the Protocol: Elevating Patient Engagement in Clinical Trials

The success of clinical trials hinges on patient engagement. A collaborative approach that goes beyond mere recruitment to foster a conducive environment for participant interaction is imperative. However, a myriad of challenges often clouds the path to optimal engagement. In this post, we delve deeper into these challenges and explore the transformative solutions that can bridge the engagement gap.


The Recruitment Gap

The clinical trials landscape presents a stark contrast between willingness and actual participation. Despite a favorable view towards trial participation, especially among cancer patients, the reality is that only 2% to 3% of them have ever participated in a clinical trial. This glaring recruitment gap often stems from logistical hurdles, inadequate information, and cumbersome processes that deter potential participants. Additionally, the terminal nature of some cancer patients' diagnosis or prognosis may render them too ill to be enrolled or affect the efficacy of the study drug within the remaining available time, further widening the recruitment gap. A significant part of this issue is the lack of awareness among potential participants about ongoing trials, eligibility criteria, or the potential benefits and risks involved, highlighting the need for robust awareness campaigns and educational resources​​1.


The Retention Challenge

The intricacies of trial protocols often pose a challenge in retaining participants. An alarming statistic reveals that by 150 days into a study, around 40% of patients cease to adhere to protocols. The reasons range from the complexity of procedures, distance to the trial sites, to inflexible schedule demands, all of which can potentially skew trial outcomes and extend timelines. Effective communication between trial coordinators and participants, and providing flexible schedules can significantly enhance retention rates2.


Bridging the Gap with Engaging, Patient-Centric Approaches

The merit of patient-centric approaches is illuminated in a review of Phase 3 trials, which found that trials employing patient engagement practices were 20% more likely to reach approval status. This statistic underscores the pivotal role of patient-centric strategies in not only retaining participants but also enhancing the overall success rate of clinical trials. Incorporating patient feedback, adapting protocols to reduce the burden on participants, and utilizing technology to facilitate easier participation can be game changers in clinical trial success​3.


The TRYAL Solution: Engaging Patients Effectively

TRYAL, with a foundation laid by seasoned clinical trial professionals, introduces a meticulously crafted platform that helps drive patient engagement. Our solution eases the transition between at-home and in-office eClinical interactions, thereby addressing the common logistical and informational hurdles faced by trial participants.


Consider this: a parent, already stretched between work and family, facing a new tide of challenges as their child, battling a chronic illness, enrolls in a clinical trial. This new ordeal mandates bi-weekly long drives to the study site, each mile amplifying the weight on the parents shoulders. The sterile clinical environment is a far cry from the comfort and convenience of home. The burden is not just the drive, but the lost work hours, the wait in the clinic, and the daunting paperwork. Yet, the hope for a medical breakthrough for their child, fuels their perseverance. The urgency for platforms offering eClinical options, becomes glaringly apparent, not merely as a choice, but as a necessity to alleviate the burdens on busy participants and families.


TRYAL's flexible, patient-centric platform facilitates a seamless switch to at-home study interactions, enabling the parent to continue participating and stay compliant in the trial with reduced burden. TRYAL’s eCOA module further extends this convenience, enabling remote clinical assessments, eliminating the need for clinic-based evaluations. With the eConsent module, re-consenting remotely is a breeze. TRYAL’s home health module coordinates nurse credentialing and homecare visits, ensuring participants receive necessary professional care without clinic visits, recapturing valuable time that might have been lost to travel and other logistical challenges.


At the heart of TRYAL's design is a holistic, multi-modal approach to patient-centric engagement. Through integrated notifications, interactive chat features, alerts, alarms and digital delivery of educational resources, TRYAL diminishes study burden and keeps participants well-informed and compliant. Features like televisits, remote scheduling, eCOA questionnaires, and remote consent provide a comprehensive, patient-centric engagement platform to implement an effective strategy.

By blending intuitive technology with a deep understanding of the clinical trial landscape, TRYAL transforms patient engagement from a buzzword into a tangible reality. It not only bridges the engagement and retention gaps but lays down the blueprint for a collaborative, convenient, and comprehensive patient engagement strategy.


Engaging with patients effectively now becomes a tangible goal, significantly augmenting the success rate of clinical trials. Stay tuned for more insights on enhancing patient engagement in clinical trials. Discover how TRYAL can redefine your patient engagement strategy by visiting TRYAL for a customized demo tailored to your needs.


For further information, please reach out to: allyson.pauly@tryalclinical.com


Author: Allyson Pauly, Senior Manager of Business Development, TRYAL


References:

"Clinical trial participation in America: The roles of eHealth engagement and patient–provider…" NIH. link​1​.

"Want to improve clinical-trial retention and compliance? Make convenience a priority." Deloitte. link2​​​.

"Patient Engagement: The True Benchmark in Clinical Trials” Florence. link​3​.

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