Clinical research sites are critical in the process of executing a clinical trial and bringing new medications to market. Pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on research site staff to manage the bulk of the effort, including recruitment, engagement, education, retention, reporting, and providing educated feedback. Two of the most challenging aspects tend to be engagement and retention for which sites continually search for more effective patient engagement solutions.

Mark Hanley, a healthcare industry veteran believes he and the team at VirTrial have found a solution. As the former CEO of Radiant Clinical Research, a company he built into the country’s largest wholly-owned network of clinical trial sites, Mark empathizes with the need for improved patient engagement solutions. “After 15 years and 10,000 plus trials, we knew we needed to find a better way to keep patients more engaged and reduce costs,” said Hanley. “We have found it with VirTrial, and sites love it.”

Virtual Patient Engagement Solutions Benefit Research Sites

Completing a clinical trial can take years and requires consistent focus and diligence in communicating with patients to keep them engaged throughout. Even when sites follow best practices, patients often drop out due to life events that make frequent trips to the site impractical or impossible. Dropouts cause delays in the trial and result in hours of lost work for the site, which then must recruit a new patient and start the process from the beginning.

While there will always be legitimate reasons that patients must drop out of trials, it is possible to greatly diminish the number of instances where this occurs. By incorporating virtual visits, research sites can maintain a higher level of productivity and complete trials in a shorter time period by reducing the frequency and/or number of visits required in person at the site. By utilizing virtual visits for appointments that don’t require a face-to-face meeting, sites can lessen the burden on patients while maintaining the highest operating standards and keeping the trial on track.

Virtual Patient Engagement Solutions Benefit Patients

Clinical trials are highly regulated to ensure compliance with good clinical practices and patient safety. As such, protocols often dictate frequent visits to the clinic for the patient to be assessed by the research staff and physician. There are, however, some interim clinical trial visits that are less intense where only the status of the patient and medication are checked. These are the type of visits that could be performed virtually by video allowing the patient to attend the visit from home or work.

Adding this option decreases the number of times a patient needs to travel to the clinic during the trial, saving them travel time and eliminating the need to miss work. Less frequent visits to the clinic affords more patients the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials and remain in the trial for the duration. Early data shows drop-out rates in virtual trials is only 5%* compared to standard trials where the rate is 30%**.

Learn More About Hybrid Virtual Trials

Designed to make clinical trials fit more naturally into the lives of patients and to simplify the process for clinical trial sites, VirTrial provides a solution to patient engagement.
If your clinical research site is looking for new patient engagement solutions, contact VirTrial to see a demo and talk with an experienced clinical research professional.

*Center Point internal review data, C. Morgan, “Are Clinical Research Sites a Dying Paradigm?”
**S. Elvidge, “Importance of Patient Retention Strategies,” Life Science Leader

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