Patient Identification, Recruitment, and Engagement in Clinical Trials

August 4, 2022

Imagine the following scenario: Ana is 57. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and is being treated by her physician who regularly performs screening tests. Ana’s health data – including mammograms, blood work results, blood pressure, etc. – are recorded in her electronic health records (EHR).


Ana is an active consumer of modern-day digital media. Across multiple digital channels – social media, websites she visits, etc. – she encounters information about a clinical trial for a drug that seeks to address her condition. Additionally, during her next doctor visit, her physician mentions an opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. The doctor explains the trial and, through the patient portal messaging system, sends her a link to an eConsent experience where Ana can take time to learn more.


Ana follows a link from her patient portal to the enrollment platform’s landing page. There, she can easily log in using the same digital identity that gives her access to all her health-related digital assets. The eConsent experience she accesses includes explanatory videos about breast cancer and the drug undergoing testing. It also offers engaging, game-like simulations helping Ana understand what would be involved in being part of a clinical trial. 


All along, Ana can communicate with her doctor remotely via a messaging app, or she can schedule a televisit to get her questions answered. Her doctor ensures she fully understands the information provided through the eConsent experience. She can also take a short quiz to check her understanding of the material. When she’s ready, Ana fills out consent forms remotely and signs them electronically.


Ana lives three hours away from the clinical trial coordination center, and a travel requirement would make it impossible for her to participate. Fortunately, she can opt-in to participate remotely. She is notified that her clinical trial kit will be delivered to her home upon enrollment. The kit will include a tablet with an installed mobile app to manage her televisits schedule, her imaging appointments at a facility near her home, medication regimen, etc. The kit will also contain a wearable device that will monitor Ana’s heart rate to ensure her safety and a blood pressure monitor. 


A game-like onboarding experience accessible on the tablet helps Ana understand how to use the contents of the kit and get set up for her participation in the trial. She can now check the schedule of televisits with the health care professional (HCP) who will look after her throughout the trial and track the delivery schedule for her medication. 


The clinical trial mobile app provides information about online communities for patients with breast cancer, where patients interact, support each other, and join online activities. Going forward, the mobile app will be Ana’s clinical trial companion. An intelligent chatbot in the app can answer Ana’s basic questions or redirect her to her HCP when needed. She receives alerts and reminders, including eConsent updates, throughout the trial. She also earns virtual badges for adhering to treatment. And, if her wearable device detects a persistent abnormal heart rate, her care team is alerted, and she receives a phone call from the study coordination center to ensure her safety.


How much of the described patient experience can your organization deliver today to participants of the clinical trials you sponsor, oversee, or deliver? While some aspects of this experience may be more challenging to implement, none are outside of the realm of the possible. 


Wherever you are on your clinical trial reinvention journey, consider the maturity of the following capabilities within your organization:


  • Patient pre-identification: Does your organization leverage real-world data (RWD), such as EHR/EMR, claims or prescription databases, etc., to identify and locate populations of patients that match your trial’s inclusion and exclusion criteria?
  • Site selection: How efficiently can you use insights generated by patient identification models to identify optimal locations for your study sites or a study coordination center? 
  • Patient and HCP awareness: How proficient is your organization in launching regulation-compliant, targeted, omnichannel awareness campaigns about your clinical trials based on patients’ de-identified data? 
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): How well are you meeting the DEI recruitment goals for your clinical trials?
  • Patient recruitment: Are you limited by the physical location of potential study sites for patient recruitment efforts, or can you decouple patient recruitment from the site location by enabling a decentralized trial operating model?
  • eConsent: How engaging and easy is the content of your eConsent to be consumed and understood by patients? 
  • Patient engagement: What digital devices and experiences do you leverage to encourage engagement, prevent attrition, and monitor patient’s adherence to treatment?


At Globant, we combine our digitally native culture and modern technologies, including big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data-driven digital marketing, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and process mining with life sciences industry expertise. We help organizations to reinvent their clinical operations and to reduce timeline and cost by enabling data-driven capabilities and delivering patient-centric experiences.

Let’s connect to discuss your organization’s aspirations to reinvent clinical trials.

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The Healthcare & Life Sciences Studio aims to reinvent the life sciences industry ecosystem through tangible technology-driven solutions. Globant aims to bridge the gap to help life sciences and healthcare organizations to achieve their mission of delivering innovation and services faster and more efficiently to enhance patient value and improve outcomes.