According to industry analysts, approximately 50% of clinical trials will struggle to recruit the adequate number of patients. While there are many reasons why people decide to drop out or not take part in clinical studies, a substantial proportion can be summed up in a heavy burden placed on patients or caregivers to comply with participation conditions. This is the context which brought "patient-centricity in clinical research" to the industry. The "patient-centricity" term is not only a hot topic nowadays, but it has become a true and widespread “putting patients first” call.
New Industry Initiatives
The concept traces its origins as far back as the 1980’s, though it has started to gain widespread traction only in recent years. The industry has become more and more focused on patients’ specific needs, and proactively seeks the ways to engage with patients for their comfort and convenience.
To this trend we can ascribe projects recently launched by different industry stakeholders starting from Uber with their "Uber Health" service, via Bracket with their "Patient Engagement Mobile Solution", to PPD offering "Patient Concierge Service" for trials involving rare diseases, or Novartis experimenting with "Digital" trials aiming at conducting visits and check-ups directly at home.
The common thread behind all these efforts is to change the traditional set up of clinical trials by, for instance, reducing the complexity of logistics of a (sometimes admittedly ambitious) visit schedule, simplify payment or reimbursement processes, and ease demanding duties or eliminate unnecessary activities from patients and caregivers, all leveraging on technological advances such as internet, smartphones or wearable devices.
Patients as Clients
Development of innovative therapeutics will become more difficult and expensive as treatments become more sophisticated and advanced (a clear example is a genetic medicine). On the other hand, patients are more and more engaged in their healthcare decision-making.
An innovative way to learn about patients’ experience is to apply a service design methodology to a study participation to recognize patients as clients, and a clinical trial as a service. Establishing a direct dialog with patients and understanding their "user experience" prove to be a valuable method for recognizing key points in the process and improving the trial design.
Creating a New Paradigm
Patient-centricity certainly must still evolve as a concept before it becomes a standard in the execution of clinical trials. Furthermore, its effects are still not appropriately quantified in terms of patient motivation and commitment. Nonetheless, it is certainly a welcomed change of paradigm for the industry.
KCR has actively worked on patient-centered clinical trials design, using a service design method. Visit the www.humanbehindeverynumber.com and learn more about the project prized recently with the iF DESIGN AWARD 2018.
KCR is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) providing clinical development solutions for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The company supports clients with full-service capabilities across three main services: Trial Execution (TE), Functional Service Provision (FS) and Late Phase (LP) in a broad range of therapeutic areas. KCR operates across four main regions: North America (NA), Western Europe (WE), Central Europe (CE) and Eastern Europe (EE) with hubs located in Boston, US, Berlin, Germany, Warsaw, Poland and Kiev, Ukraine respectively. The company’s geographical set up suits perfectly to deliver optimized trial execution strategies for life-changing therapies.
KCR: We see human behind every number
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