Greenphire’s core focus is on developing technology and best practices that streamline traditionally manual administrative and financial workflows within clinical research. These burdensome challenges are faced by trial stakeholders all over the world.

Today, we interview John Mathews, our Sales Engineer based in the UK. In his role, he meets with the leading innovators from pharma sponsor and CRO clients globally, but most frequently in the EU. Here are some insights from John based on his many client conversations around automating participant reimbursements.


  1. What do you think, based on client feedback, is the leading benefit of Greenphire’s participant reimbursement solution, ClinCard, for sponsors and CROs?

Sponsors and CROs often note that they love the ease of use for both sites and participants. Patient and site centricity is important to many sponsors and CROs I speak with. When I walk through the reimbursement workflow, they are surprised at how simple and quick the process is and the immediacy of fund distribution to the participant. I have even heard a sponsor say, “if you can use amazon, you can use the ClinCard Solution”.

Clients have also noted that offering ClinCard can even help with participant recruitment. For example, if given the option between a study that reimburses with cash or check vs. a study that offers real-time reimbursement, notifications, account access, etc. with ClinCard, participants will often prefer the latter.

  1. What questions do sponsors and CROs typically have for you regarding automating payments?

Sponsors and CROs initially have questions around how automating reimbursements will make processes easier for sites? As noted above, this is proven quickly by walking through the intuitive payment workflow.

I also receive questions around the ability to set thresholds. They are pleased to find that ClinCard enables the configuration of a payment schedule for specific milestones and with set amounts and automated reimbursements based on those thresholds.

“Do we have visibility into transactions at sites, and who is requesting and approving payments?” is another question often asked. To this, we show our standard reporting suite that details all transactional activity, with a full audit trail, including who an action was completed by and when.

  1. Is the value of ClinCard for stakeholders in EU different than other regions?

For the most part, the value is similar globally in the desire to both remove administrative burdens from site staff while also improving the participant experience. However, while data privacy is important world-wide, there is a particular focus on this within the EU. As such, our system reporting which is completely blinded of patient information is seen as a critical in addition to the fact that we only collect the minimal amount of data needed to meet global banking requirements and provide participant support. The data collected is not used for any other purpose.

  1. Are there particular features that garner positive feedback globally?

Recently, I heard positive feedback on the instant translations available within the ClinCard portal (17 languages), which was noted to be quite helpful for the various regions in which the sponsor was conducting trials. This particular sponsor was conducting a trial in Spain; however, this feature is viewed as a benefit to many of our global clients.

I have also received a positive response from sponsors and CROs regarding our ‘In-Application Training’. They feel that offering resources, guides and tutorials within the ClinCard platform provides a better site user experience and supports site adoption of the solution globally.

  1. More importantly, what are you hearing as the driver of change? What is causing sponsors and CROs in Europe to turn to technology to automate their patient engagement processes?

Patient convenience is a key focus for many sponsors and CROs. They want to ensure that taking part in a clinical trial is as burden-free as possible for the participant. As such, they are turning to technology to simplify processes and remove financial barriers.

Transparency is also noted as a key driver. Sponsors and CROs want more visibility and control over their spend and recognize ClinCard as a great way to centralize their financial processes.

Another driver for change has been sites looking for a more streamlined reimbursement / payment method. In fact, some sponsors have been referred to Greenphire by sites who have used ClinCard on previous studies with other sponsors. Sites advocate for ClinCard, saying that it helps to remove administrative burdens related to traditionally manual payment processes such as cash and checks.

For example, one sponsor noted that a site in Belgium was using paper vouchers to reimburse participants. This caused an administrative headache for the site as they had to track manually with vouchers often being lost by participants. Physically handing paper vouchers and cash to participants has also been particularly problematic during the pandemic, especially in dealing with immunosuppressed populations. These challenges have further validated the need for change and ultimately the introduction of technology to automate reimbursements.

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