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How to Engage and Retain Patients in Clinical Trials

When it comes to clinical trials, the stakes are high. It can take 10 to 15 years or longer to complete all 3 phases before licensing, and global spending on trials is expected to reach nearly $69 billion by 2025.

It’s no secret that patient drop-out is among the leading causes of delays in the timeline and a huge expense. On average, 30% of patients drop out of clinical trials, and the cost to replace a lost patient averages $19,533. The costs of lost data, time, and resources are even higher.

Retaining patients in clinical trials requires a patient-centric approach. By analyzing patient preferences and ensuring these preferences are an integral part of your engagement strategy, you can improve patient engagement in clinical trials.

To understand how to retain patients in clinical trials, we need to take a closer look at why they leave. The biggest culprits are often related to lack of communication and clarity. Often, when patients need help understanding their role, are confused about the trial or process, or are anxious about what to expect during each stage of the trial journey, they’re at a higher risk of dropping out. Unfortunately, patients often feel like subjects rather than an integral part of the research team. Engaging patients by keeping them informed and involved throughout the trial is essential, in addition to communicating with them in the ways they prefer.

The question is: how do people prefer to engage today?

Successful digital strategies for patient retention in clinical trials

We can draw valuable insights from leading digital brands known for their high user engagement to improve patient retention in clinical trials and strengthen patient engagement.

For instance, Amazon’s model of using browsing and purchasing data to provide personalized recommendations can be mirrored to tailor experiences for each patient in clinical trials. Similarly, how social networks like Facebook and Twitter foster connections and content sharing can inspire strategies to facilitate patient connection and communication in clinical trials. Additionally, the personalized content curation model used by streaming giants like Netflix, tailored to individual viewing preferences, can be adapted to create more personalized and engaging experiences for patients. By implementing these proven digital engagement trends and preferences, we can effectively meet patients where they are, engaging them in ways that resonate with their daily digital interactions, thus enhancing how to retain patients in clinical trials and fostering effective patient engagement.

In a perception and insights study conducted by CISCRP

Clinical trial participants were surveyed to uncover clinical trial preferences.

Participants were asked how helpful technology was throughout the clinical trial.

These were the top 3 identified as most helpful:

  1. Text Messaging
  2. Video conferencing as an option to meet with the study doctor
  3. Smartphone apps for study data collection and support services

This study highlights the need to interact with and engage patients digitally. Digital communication enables researchers to scale their time and collect data more efficiently. Using SMS texting to provide patients with timely reminders, check-ins, and updates helps hold patients accountable. It encourages them to adhere to the study’s regime while staying updated on their progress.

mPulse Mobile leverages conversation AI and Natural Language Understanding (NLU)

To send tailored text messages designed to engage and motivate patients over time. Our conversations are empathic, inclusive, and multilingual for equitable health engagement and incorporate behavioral science techniques to empower patients to act. In addition to SMS, we offer IVR and email communication channels. By understanding your patient population, we can further enhance and tailor conversations to feel highly relevant and deliver the right support and information throughout the clinical trial.

In the same perception and insights study conducted by CISCRP, clinical trial participants were asked,

“If you were to participate in a clinical research study, how important are the following to your participation?”

The top 5 areas participants ranked as most important:

  1. Being provided with supporting information on managing my health condition in general
  2. Being provided with supporting information on the clinical research study
  3. Being provided the opportunity to complete a satisfaction survey on your clinical research study experience to provide feedback
  4. Supportive Services
  5. Availability of mobile applications

Providing an online destination for patients to access information about their condition and the study, connect with other patients, complete surveys and questionnaires, ask questions, and receive additional support ticks all the boxes.

mPulse Mobile curates white-labeled learning destinations customized to each patient. We partner with leading health organizations to curate cinematic health content designed to build self-efficacy. Content features various expert-led videos, animations, polls, assessments and surveys, discussion boards, resources, and custom calls to action.

Patients can complete daily diaries, learn more about their condition, and engage with the research team in a single destination. All data is captured on the back end and is available via a real-time dashboard with EDC integration options. Our learning destinations have an average 70-minute engagement time per patient per session and are proven to sustain engagement over time.

mPulse can link patients directly to videos, polls, or diary logs within the learning destination to provide a seamless UX to education, support, and activities. In addition to learning destinations, mPulse offers short-form content that can be sent via email or SMS with customizable CTAs.

How to improve patient retention in clinical trials with mPulse Mobile

mPulse Mobile is at the forefront of enhancing digital engagement in healthcare, offering industry-leading solutions that blend conversational AI with integrated streaming content. Our innovative approach is trusted by over 200 health organizations, personalizing more than 1 billion conversations annually.

mPulse Mobile’s technology is geared towards improving business efficiencies and health outcomes and plays a significant role in retaining patients in clinical trials. We make a difference one person at a time by fostering a more equitable and healthier world.

Discover how mPulse can revolutionize your patient retention strategy in clinical trials by contacting us.


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