Shaping the Future of Clinical Trials – A Patient-Centered Approach

By Ed Ikeguchi

Hello and welcome to the debut of our new blog! Here you’ll find insights and opinions on the trends and issues we face daily in the clinical research industry. We at AiCure are very proud of our patient-first technology and its ability to improve how trials are run for sponsors, sites, and patients. I’m even more proud of the great people we have here, many of whom you’ll be hearing from in this blog.

To kick us off, I thought I’d jump right into addressing the elephant in all of our rooms: COVID-19. Can you believe that a silver lining exists when it comes to how COVID-19 has impacted our industry? While we’re all too familiar with the many negative impacts the pandemic has had on our lives and work, for the clinical research space, it’s served as a catalyst for the widespread adoption of new technologies and innovative approaches to collecting patient data. Restrictions on patients’ ability to visit trial sites and engage in face-to-face meetings with caregivers have forced us all to look at ways to address patient engagement, retention, medication adherence, and reporting. 

Many sponsors are already seeing the benefits of utilizing technologies such as remote monitoring and telehealth. Not only are these technologies helping sponsors to keep their studies running, but they’re also providing not-before-seen visibility into patient behaviors during the times between clinical visits. 

Technology Solutions, or People Solutions?

The acceleration of technology adoption, particularly remote engagement technology, may have arisen from a concern over keeping trials moving or being able to start new trials during the pandemic, but I believe it will continue post-COVID because of how it improves studies for the patients, thereby facilitating better data for sponsors. 

Patient Recruitment and Retention

In all phases of study, patient recruitment and retention can cause headaches for sponsors and sites alike. Dropouts, or failures to recruit enough patients (especially in early phases) can cause lengthy delays and prove extremely costly. So how can technologies like AiCure help with patient recruitment and retention? Through our platform’s dosing support capabilities, we can help identify patients most likely to adhere to the study care plan and predict a cohort’s success throughout the life of the study using our proprietary AI. One can’t overstate the impact that getting the cohort correct from the start can have on your study data, and by focusing on the patient very early on, we can help sponsors set the foundation for success.

Patient Engagement

Once the patient pool is set, technology can be utilized to optimize its performance. AiCure guides the patients through dosing, sending them alerts, and reminders to ensure doses aren’t forgotten. Additionally, the facial and voice recognition features help to confirm that the correct dosage is always taken, transmitting that data in real-time to the study team. Study team members also receive alerts whenever doses have been missed or if any other potential problems are detected through the app. Furthermore, the response to dosing can be measured using digital biomarkers and ePRO by capturing patients’ symptoms. This allows the care team to engage with the patients using the app, helping troubleshoot problems and get patients the support they need.

Easing Patient and Site Burden

Using this technology eases stress on patients, leading to better adherence and overall study performance. For the study team and sites, they no longer have to rely solely on what they can glean from intermittent clinical visits with patients. They now have full visibility, through the app, of patient behavior, in-between site visits. This enables them to provide the right level of support for patients and get the most out of those clinical visits. Patients that might need a little more help and oversight can have more time with their clinical providers, while patients that have been extremely on task can get in and out, and don’t feel like they’re wasting their time answering questions that the study team – had they used the AiCure Patient Connect app – should already know the answers to.

So you can see that by utilizing technology that takes a patient-centered approach to solving clinical study challenges, you can have a more reliable cohort, less stress for patients and sites, and, ultimately, better data. Register Here for our upcoming webinar Real Talk: Leveraging Technology to Improve the Remote Patient Experience.