We are well into the era of the engaged consumer. By now, many companies have recognized that traditional selling tactics like advertising and discounting only take them so far. Consumers want deeper connections, and companies ranging from Amazon and Apple to Spotify and Zappos have been happy to oblige. Using predictive algorithms that prioritize consumer preferences, these companies are finding inventive new ways to engage customers with games, stories, and sharing tools sent to their mobile devices. Clinical trials are no different. These tools can make it easier for clinical trial sponsors to improve engagement, whether it’s making participation easier by reducing the need for trips to a clinic or providing reminders for taking medicines in the right dose at the right time.
Mobile applications are already being used in clinical trial recruitment and retention, with the capacity to be used even more. Specific studies and opt-in databases have the potential to:
- Provide patients with access to studies they would not otherwise know about
- Reduce site visits by wireless data tracking via devices such as Smart Toilets and ECG’s administered by home health nurses.
- Allow investigative site staff access to several different formats of study materials and tools
- Offer site and patient education/administration training in different iterations
- Personalize patient retention activities such as
- Email and SMS: Vvisit, medication and diary reminders
- Online patient surveys and assessments
- Newer retention techniques such as Gamification and online community access
Many of these activities can be accessed on the patients’ own smartphones (Bring your Own Device or BYOD) without adding the expense of additional devices.
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