Top 5 Sponsor “Must Haves” in a Patient Engagement Tech Provider

May 16 2023  

The life sciences community is united in the mission to bring hope to patients worldwide through research. Medical discoveries and exploration define what is possible for today and tomorrow.

But what if those treatments and cures could be delivered faster?

80% of delays in trial timelines are reportedly due to deficient recruitment and retention. By focusing efforts on these areas – driving convenience, centralization and simplicity for participants, those timelines can be accelerated.

In fact, in Greenphire’s recently released Patient Convenience Market Trends survey, 98% of sponsors and CROs agreed that improving patient recruitment and retention can lead to accelerated clinical trial timelines.

Patient Engagement Technology: Top 5 “Must Haves” for Success

Delivering on the promise of ‘patient convenience’ is complex and requires the right combination of experience, expertise and technology to truly have a positive impact on the participant’s experience. Clinical trial volume today is increasing; plus, trials are conducted in more geographies, patients have elevated expectations and the dynamics of conducting research through more decentralized mechanisms requires a holistic approach.

When evaluating technology providers in support of patient convenience initiatives, here are five key aspects to consider:

  1. Patient Flexibility: Participant preferences vary greatly, and more is being asked of them than ever before (time, distance, number of visits, effort). As such, offering flexibility is the key to a positive patient experience.

For instance, some participants may prefer utilizing a mobile app to access information, whether iOS or Android, while others may prefer the web via desktop, tablet or laptop. Similarly, access to transportation may differ – some with their own vehicles or transportation method and others without such means. When it comes to being reimbursed for expenses or time and effort in a trial, some participants may have a bank account while others do not.

Ultimately, it is important to understand that each participant has different life situations, capabilities, access to resources and general requirements. Sponsors, CROs, Sites and solution providers need to be aware of and account for these differences to ensure a positive and sustainable experience across all participants.

  1. Alignment with Global Requirements: currently lists 449,470 studies with locations in all 50 U.S. states and in 221 countries. In order to implement a successful patient convenience program on a global scale, your solutions and services need to align with the needs of patients around the world.

Offering flexibility is not just about preference but also addressing regional norms and requirements. For example, patients in France have different needs than those in Brazil, South Africa or the U.S. – whether payment methods (cards, digital money, bank transfers, etc.), currency, or local transportation and lodging options. Additionally, patient support needs to be offered on a global scale – with 24/7 availability and local language representatives and resources. Each of these considerations have regional privacy and regulatory implications, and it is critical to work with providers who build localized compliance into their offerings.

In short, solutions and services are only valuable if they meet participant and regulatory requirements in all markets in which a trial is being conducted.

  1. Embedded Expertise: Conducting clinical research is complex and spans highly regulated sectors. As such, sponsors today want and need to work with providers who have an expertise in navigating these complexities.

Patient-facing technology, especially those which traverse continents, requires a sophisticated knowledge base – especially in areas such as privacy (including GDPR), banking, tax management, travel arrangement and much more. Global rules and regulations, plus regionalized preferences and behaviors need to be built directly into eClinical solutions – to ensure that you’re supporting patients where they are.

Establishing such expertise is about more than just “hiring or building” the right team but is derived from real life experience – living, breathing and learning. This level of knowledge gives sponsors peace of mind, helping to ensure that trial operations are properly executed while maintaining compliance from product design to delivery.

  1. Commitment to Innovation: It just takes one visit to an industry trade show to see that there is no shortage of solution providers claiming to have what it takes to improve the participant experience.

However, the key to making a difference and being a true innovator is the ability and willingness to listen and adapt as market needs evolve. Resources should be dedicated to validating pain points, features, and opportunities through patient, site and sponsor & CRO feedback, in addition to addressing global nuances and requirements. This approach ensures that innovation does not happen in a vacuum but rather is a collaborative and consistent investment and drive towards betterment. Also, innovation doesn’t stop; there is always the need to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s changing to ensure that solutions are dynamic and meet the needs of all stakeholders despite fluctuations in the industry. Ultimately, new technologies hold the promise to ensure that trials run faster and more reliably.  

  1. Effective Client Best Practices and Site Support: 

The most effective providers establish a bi-directional partnership with their clients. This includes taking the time to understand stakeholder needs and transform processes – from workshops with sponsors and CROs to comprehensive localized trainings with site staff and dedicated participant support resources. It is only through years of experience, learnings, data analysis and workflow execution, that a provider can deliver not only best-in-class technology but offer consultative services and best practices that drive efficiency and transparency across the enterprise. After all, the best solution providers are actually solution consultants.


What Your Peers Have to Say about Patient Engagement Technology

More than 150 sponsors and CROs responded to Greenphire’s recent survey and reaffirmed the critical role of patient engagement in clinical trials.

  •  95% of sponsors and CROs agree that removing financial and logistical barriers from patient participation in clinical trials can improve retention.
  • 90% believe that offering patient engagement solutions to clinical research sites helps to position their company as a sponsor/CRO of choice
  • 85% of sponsors and CROs would find it beneficial to have just one provider to deliver their entire patient engagement program (patient stipends / reimbursements; logistics; mobile access; patient feedback)

I’m inspired by this industry. And our teams at Greenphire work each and every day to ensure that our solutions and services we provide empower study teams, streamline global workflows and deliver transparency for more efficient trials.

Take the Next Step

Learn more about Greenphire, and our powerful suite of solutions which can ignite innovation in your clinical trials:

Kyle Cunningham
Chief Product Officer

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