2020: A Look Inside Our Crystal Ball

2020: A Look Inside Our Crystal Ball

Posted by Elizabeth Gargill on Thu, Dec 19, 2019


MediaPredictions_without text

In this special year end post, we asked a few of our BBK industry experts to comment on the clinical research landscape and to share their predictions for 2020.

Sarah Mandracchia, Director, Site Operations

Where do you see clinical trial patient travel going in 2020? 

I predict that 2020 will be a year of transformation for travel in the clinical trial space. In the last six months, we have seen a dramatic shift in our sponsors’ understanding of their patients’ needs related to travel, and more in-depth language included in informed consent forms (ICFs). This growing understanding of their patients, and the possible travel offerings, then resonates with their sites, which, in turn, feel even more supported during clinical trial administration.

In addition to sponsor and site acknowledgment of and satisfaction with travel support services in clinical trials, the advancement and sophistication of software and technology are going to be paramount in this transformation. BBK has a technological infrastructure, TrialCentralNet® (TCN®), that is a one-stop shop for the management of all patient-related experiences (travel, reimbursement, etc.). Continuing to enhance programs such as TCN® will help to gain buy-in from study sites and ensure patient retention rates do not fall.


Danielle Frate, Art Director

Are there any creative trends you anticipate for 2020 that will impact patient recruitment and the patient experience?

Our creative approach has always aligned with BBK’s core mission, which is to be patient-centric. In order to present the study opportunity, as writers/designers/strategists we consider how best to engage on a condition-by-condition basis and create an emotional connection through our outreach materials. The evolution that I see for 2020 is an even greater emphasis on the audience as we integrate and optimize digital tactics. We’ll be looking to embrace an approach that’s truly “20/20” – one that’s defined by visual clarity and precision – that leverages targeted digital advertising, patient-centric websites, and dynamic prescreeners.


Rob Laurens, Principal, Quality Assurance

Where do you see clinical trial patient reimbursement going in 2020? 

Sponsors will begin to realize that worthwhile reimbursement programs not only must have global capability, but also that they are integral to providing exceptional global study participant travel programs – that is, to provide a truly patient-centric program, the two must be offered and work hand-in-glove.


Matt Kibby, Principal, President

Can you identify a trend that you think will change the industry landscape in 2020?

What’s old is new again. It’s not just lessons learned; it’s also about clarity: 2020 vision. We will be focusing squarely on the needs of patients and caregivers, so that relevant, compelling, strategically driven content is considered a mandatory component of a tech-enabled approach. In a rush to adopt emerging technologies, much has been forgotten by trial sponsors about basic marketing tenets that need to be revisited as fundamentals to communication. Technology can enable insight into data that has been previously unavailable, and technology can enable massively scaleable approaches, but information and ideas still require conveyance and resonance. Back to basics.

In addition, implementing old and new technologies will be leveraged to help beleaguered sites swiftly and efficiently process patient referrals. Referrals (people interested in participating in clinical trials that are also eligible to do so) are not so difficult to find. But they are often left languishing without proper follow-up and triage, due to the lack of appropriate resources at the referral’s chosen site. Here’s where technology and content can really shine – contact center, click-to-call, text-based messaging all can help, but to keep in line with my first comment, it needs to resonate strategically with participants.


Aaron Fleishman, Director, Market Development

Where do you see clinical trial engagement apps headed in 2020?

I think engagement apps will become more of a standard operating procedure. In the same way that almost every health management system comes with an app, clinical trials will. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone will use the app. We’ve seen through our Study Voices survey data that not everyone likes to use apps to manage their health. However, all other aspects of health management still have an app for users in case that is the preferred way they would like to manage their health.

BBK will be staying on the pulse of emerging trends in 2020. Stay informed through our blog, our Pharma15 Live! series, our Study Voices surveys, MythBuster initiatives, and much more!


Topics: BBK Worldwide, Patient Engagement, Patient Experience, 2020, Patient Enrollment