At last, patient centricity is much more than an industry buzzword. We’re seeing real efforts to put patients at the center of clinical research, and it’s beginning to impact all areas across the clinical research continuum.
At the SCOPE Summit a few months ago, a wide range of global clinical research stakeholders acknowledged the value of understanding the patient experience and incorporating patient viewpoints and feedback into study designs. Happily, most discussions on clinical research include the need to raise the patient voice. And while this is all very encouraging, there is still much more that needs to be done.
As covered by Clinical Leader’s Ed Miseta, Merck has adopted patient-centric operations on a site level. Mark Travers, global head of monitoring excellence at Merck, offers his insights on an important distinction between feasibility and patient centricity: “This is not the same as feasibility… we might know that the patients and the investigators needed for the trial actually exist. But you need to take a close look at how doable the trial will be for the patients we enroll in it.” A trial may be feasible, but how will sponsors and sites go about conducting the trial so patients will actually want to participate?
What role does mHealth play?
mHealth is intrinsically patient centric. Apps and wearables, if developed properly, will make patient participation easier; helping patients understand what’s required, remember a study visit and report data. So the question isn’t just how will we make mHealth more patient-centric, but rather how will we make mHealth more feasible? With all of the options available to us for increasing site and patient engagement, how do we sift through all of the technological possibilities to arrive at something that sites and patients will realistically engage with?
As it stands today, the industry is in the midst of reconciling the vast capabilities of widely used mediums with the intricacies of patient-centric clinical research. In next week’s post, I’m going to share my thoughts on how I think this reconciliation works, and how mHealth strikes a balance between feasibility and patient centricity.