Digital technologies have disrupted almost all industries, and healthcare is not left behind. With the massive data set available at the fingertip, powerful innovations like AI, Internet of Things, mobile technology, medical coding, machine learning, etc., being available, clinical researchers, sponsors, and CROs are at the forefront for patient recruitment and engagement activities.
The behavior and expectations of patients have also changed over the years. With technological interventions in healthcare, patients now expect more convenience, flexibility, and ease of use. On the other hand, healthcare organizations that want to attract and engage patients are increasingly looking to introduce technological innovations to better patient engagement.
Leveraging technologies for patient recruitment and engagement
Coming to clinical trials and patient engagement, it is no different. From a reactive approach, sponsors and CROs are now moving to a more proactive model where various engagement tools bolster patient recruitment and engagement. This digital transformation has benefitted both the patient and the life sciences company. For example, patients can now secure financial assistance, receive supplies, fill in prescriptions, get help to deal with new diagnosis, understand different treatment options, and receive educational and motivational support. On the other hand, CROs and sponsors can optimize their product’s efficacy and outcomes and ensure patient recruitment is a smooth process.
Leveraging digitization for better recruitment and engagement strategy
With the digital transformation happening globally, sponsors and CROs can now plan data-driven programs to bolster patient recruitment and engagement. For example, one can analyze patients’ geographies and demographics, how they prefer to be reached, why they need to visit a hospital, or even what they are discussing online. With COVID-19 happening, the digital transformation has now been accelerated globally. Sponsors and CROs are adopting new roadmaps and strategies for patient recruitment, retention, and engagement.
While traditionally, pharmaceutical companies have leveraged TV advertisements, radio, and print media for patient recruitment, digital technologies have made it possible to build a robust patient recruitment strategy. Digital technologies have made it possible to devise hyper-targeted marketing approaches.
How does digital patient recruitment and engagement look like?
Companies are rolling out apps and single platforms that offer different conveniences that make patient recruitment and engagement activities easier. For example, technological interventions have made it possible to schedule appointments on the phone or engage in video-based telehealth visits with their caregivers. This is the most welcomed initiative since the appearance of COVID-19 had made social distancing the new normal. Apart from other benefits, it is needless to say that digital transformation has fast-paced the entire process, thus reducing no-shows and staff burnout.
Community building: is another effective way to build patient engagement using social media. For example, a company has made an online community of professional cyclists diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The community’s purpose is to have members from all over the world, create awareness, and support each other while keeping the patient community engaged through social channels.
Patient monitoring: With digital intervention, patient monitoring has become much easier and more convenient. Caregivers and hospitals can monitor patient health remotely, patients do not need to visit hospitals physically. Using digital capabilities and technological innovations, traditional engagement can be complemented with digital engagement. The treatment outcome can be tracked easily, contributing positively to data accumulation, analysis, and data-driven decision-making. At the same time, patients can receive personalized care at the comfort of their home especially at times, when everyone is skeptical about a hospital visit.
Digital transformation makes patient recruitment and engagement seamless. It makes the entire process of clinical trials and outcomes fast-paced. Needless to say that sponsors and CROs who adapt to new technologies and innovations will be staying ahead of the competition in the coming days.