ContextMedia, a company focused on promoting health and drug awareness, after changing its name to Outcome Health, launched a digital platform used in physicians’ offices for clinical trial recruitment.
With this new interactive platform, the Chicago-based company hopes to improve the patient recruitment process, which has been notoriously cited as a reason for higher costs of and delay in drug development.
A report published by Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development in 2011 found that two-thirds of investigative sites fail to meet the patient enrollment requirements for a trial, while the Center’s another report (PDF) in 2013 found that reaching desired enrollment targets usually takes drug developers twice the planned time.
A delayed recruitment phase leads to prolonged clinical trial timeline—and longer involvement required of trial investigators—and hence delayed marketing of the drug or even worse, the failure of the trial, all contributing to millions of extra dollars for drug developers.
The idea behind Outcome Health’s platform is, the efficiency of patient recruitment could be improved by distributing clinical trial information to targeted patients when they’re already in the consultation room. As participant recruitment is a large driver of clinical trials’ budgets, faster enrollment could drive down those costs.
The entire platform, as described by Don Butler, Outcome Health’s SVP of R&D solutions for life sciences, which is incorporated throughout a patient’s entire clinical visit to a specialty physician’s office, includes the waiting room screens, digital wallboards in the consultation room and exam room tablets.
The workflow starts when patients enter the waiting room, where the screen will display clinical trial information to raise awareness, and then in the consultation room, physicians could use a wallboard to discuss with their patients the possibilities of participation in clinical trials, after that, patients could use the tablet by themselves to go through the details of the trials and later engage with the doctor again for prescreening questions.
As the hardware has already been used by Outcome previously on 200,000 physicians nationwide in 21 therapeutic fields for the purposes of drug marketing and distribution of healthcare information, the patient recruitment feature is readily available.
“Because Outcome Health’s technology platform is well-established in thousands of specialty practices where many potential volunteers are treated, we are uniquely positioned to provide a highly targeted clinical trial recruiting solution,” said Butler.
He went on to argue that when patients are already sitting in a healthcare facility, especially in a specialty department, their entire attention will be centered on getting the treatment, and that’s when they’re more open to trial information.
He said the platform has already enlisted its first client. The company then identified physicians of that desired specialty in its network, who are located within a 25-mile radius around the five research sites of the clinical trial, and runs the promotion in those physicians’ offices.
The company has also entered into a collaboration with the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, a nonprofit dedicated to informing the public about clinical research, to design campaign content for clinical trials.