As studies get longer, and patients are expected to collect study data independently from home, patient engagement and retention has become a key concern for sponsors. For example, in a recent study, patients were asked to keep their diaries for two years! The sponsor tasked assisTek with creating new and engaging features to keep the patients active with the eDiary and maintain high rates of compliance. The results were a success. Patients have access to weekly sponsor newsletters relating to their therapeutic area, and also have a few fun games to play at any time; they are definitely engaged!
New technology used for Patient eDiaries has been leveraged to create opportunities to engage patients and keep them interested and involved in their clinical trial. The benefits of keeping patients engaged are significant to study teams in many ways:
Higher quality data
More consistent data
Less recruiting to replace patients who leave study or are non-compliant
Lower burden on study team to follow-up with borderline patients
Happier patients = Happier study team
Depending on the age of the subject, and the therapeutic area, assisTek has created many engagement techniques that are working effectively in clinical trials around the globe.
Newsletters and Videos: Periodically, the sponsor will create a newsletter and/or video relating to the study or therapeutic area. The content will then automatically be installed on the patient’s device, remotely. The patients look forward to turning on their eDiary and seeing messages from the Sponsor.
Trivia and Games: Trivia and games are used to engage patients on a day-to-day basis. assisTek has created games & trivia that are geared towards specific age populations. For example, Sudoku might appeal to the baby-boomers, while Trivia may appeal to the retired population. Either way, the sponsor can keep patients even more engaged by giving them rewards at site visits for answering questions correctly. The goal is to maintain interest in the study and the data collection tool; which will translate into higher compliance rates.
Study Progress Calendar: A patient’s progress in a study is important to them. Patients want to understand how far they’ve come, they want to see what is in their future, and they want to feel connected to the study in which they are participating. assisTek has many ways of achieving this. For example, an eDiary can include a screen that displays how many days left a patient has left in the trial, and what their compliance has been to date. Another option is to include a screen that displays the intervals for site visits, and other relevant appointments, as deemed by the sponsor. Both examples offer a way to keep patients motivated and engaged in the study from start to finish.
Email and SMS Text: Having a personal cell phone is almost guaranteed in every developed country around the world. Since patients are likely to carry their personal cell phone with them the majority of the time, assisTek has developed solutions that will send SMS Text and Email reminders to subjects based on events entered (or not entered) on their eDiary. For example, if a patient has not recorded their daily report on the eDiary, they could receive a text message reminding them to complete before a certain time. This tool is invaluable if high compliance rates are expected from patients.
There are countless reasons to make a conscious effort to keep patients engaged in a study. It benefits the sponsor significantly to have a high compliance and retention rate. The best way to achieve this is to motivate patients through proven engagement techniques and features. assisTek is chartering this critical segment of clinical trials. To understand more, or to schedule a demo, please email info@assisTek.com.