Keeping patients engaged in clinical trials is a challenge. Interest can easily wane, especially in long trials, while complex regimens can be confusing for patients. Even the simple act of forgetting to take the trial drug at the specified time can affect trial results. The more non-compliant patients there are involved in a trial, the greater the negative impact on the process of clinical research and ultimate the success of a candidate drug. Patients choosing to drop out of trial also have a huge knock-on effect, in terms of both cost and outcome.
Vodafone mHealth Solutions can help improve the clinical development process of new treatments by improving the engagement with patients in clinical trials. As well as collecting data from patients, the mobile network can be used to disseminate information, such as text message reminders to support protocol adherence and confirm visits. The system can be pre-configured to send messages at specific time intervals to support the trial schedule. Through mobile web, we can also deliver short but compelling video content to educate patients and describe possible side effects to alleviate any concerns if the study protocol permits.
Text messaging is ideal for capturing additional data throughout the trial by linking patients to web-based quality of life questionnaires or other symptom-based diaries that add to the information gathered and improve both the protocol and ensuing drug development process. Patients can be encouraged with texts re-affirming the importance of their participation and reminding them of who to contact if they have any questions. As a study nears completion texts thanking participants and providing information about next steps will leave patients feeling valued at the conclusion of the trial and favour the chance of their participation in any future studies.
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