Recruiting for clinical trials is tough. One analysis of closed trials found that 19% of registered trials that closed or terminated either failed to meet accrual goals (85% of expected enrollment) or were terminated early due to insufficient accrual.¹ There are unique challenges every step of the way from candidate identification and pre-screening to consent and post-screening. Fortunately, new technologies are making many parts of the process easier to manage. The process for pre-screening clinical trial patients, in particular, can be simplified and expedited with the use of a telemedicine platform.  

Pre-screening Clinical Trial Patients

The pre-screening process typically has required a patient to travel to a research site for an initial appointment with the Principal Investigator (PI). There are often challenges getting the patient to the site due to distance, time constraints, access to transportation, etc. The difficulty in getting patients in for a pre-screening visit can also be an indicator of what future in-office visits might look like, so having the option of virtual visits as part of the study protocol will be instrumental in retaining the patient throughout the trial.

Implementing a telemedicine platform can augment the process for pre-screening clinical trial patients who can’t easily make it to the research site. Consider the impact of populating the platform with your pre-screening questionnaire and enabling potential patients to complete it at a time and place that’s convenient for them rather than having to schedule a specific time to meet with site staff and travel to the site for an appointment. Patients would also benefit from completing their pre-screening via video chat vs. an in-person visit which would eliminate the risk of them traveling to the site only to find out they don’t qualify for the trial.

Sites benefit from video pre-screenings as well since office-related logistics and travel delays are eliminated. Imagine the impact of recruitment companies pre-screening clinical trial patients via video chat before sending potential patients to the site. They could better qualify candidates and send only those that pass the pre-screening to the site for next steps, offloading a significant burden from site staff.

Selecting a Telemedicine Platform for Pre-screening

When selecting a telemedicine platform, be sure to thoroughly review the provider and the platform capabilities. Here are a few important factors to look for:

  • HIPAA compliance – to protect the privacy of the potential patient and the confidentiality of information collected about him/her.
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – so that potential patients can use their personal devices vs. needing a sponsor-provided device.
  • Open Network – select a platform provider that will work with any research site vs. a pre-selected private network.
  • Easy to Use – to ensure participation from both patients and research site staff.
  • User Customization – to enable a diverse population to participate with support from medically certified translators and multi-line call capabilities.

Try a telemedicine platform for pre-screening for your next clinical trial. It can have a significant impact on success rates. Contact us for more information or to schedule a free demo.

¹ Carlisle B, Kimmelman J, Ramsay T, MacKinnon N. Unsuccessful trial accrual and human subjects protections: An empirical analysis of recently closed trials. Clin Trials. 2015;12(1):77-83
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