Clinical Trial Recruitment Success Via Text Messaging

Recruitment: the perpetually challenging aspect of clinical trials.

Image courtesy of adamr /
Image courtesy of adamr /

As one of the most important parts of running a clinical trial (no patients, no trial, right?), recruitment is a large focus for those involved in clinical research.  However, even with numerous proposed strategies for effective recruitment, it seems as though it is still a major challenge that cannot be overcome.

What is the major problem with recruitment?

It takes time. A lot of time. A patient population for a study has to be created, contacted, and convinced that the clinical trial is worthwhile. While some sites have a database listing past trial patients, sometimes it is not large enough to create a significant patient population for a new study. Then, call centers are used, referrals occur, and advertising takes place, adding more time to the recruitment process.

What is wrong with recruitment taking a lot of time?

There is nothing innately wrong with recruitment taking time. In any scenario, it is a lengthy process. However, to meet screening and randomization deadlines, a quicker recruitment period is helpful.

Additionally, as reported by Nariman A. Nasser, Director of the UCSF Participant Recruitment Service, almost 2/3 of potential patients are lost to follow-up because they do not hear back about their study eligibility quickly enough. This can happen when sites focus on making all of the recruitment calls first before making any follow-up calls, when pre-screening or screening appointments aren’t scheduled in a timely fashion, or when there are not enough staff at a site to effectively recruit while performing other job responsibilities.

What is the solution?

The solution lies in the back pocket of future patients: the mobile phone. Text messaging has proven itself as an effective means of communication across age groups, genders, ethnicities, locations, religions, and more. It works for everyone.

Whether or not these future patients have smart phones, text messaging is a possible means of communication. Furthermore, Nasser also reports that 5.5 billion people worldwide are mobile subscribers; in the U.S., this is 91% of the population. Read: 91% of the population can be reached via text message for clinical trial recruitment!

Text messaging is fast – and significantly faster than the traditional recruitment phone call. Texting makes it possible to reach a larger number of potential patients by text and perform immediate follow-up with less staff. Screening visits can be scheduled and eligibility questions can be answered via text. Really, text messaging can aid in all aspects of recruitment! If you are looking for a recruitment strategy that has proven positive results, consider texting; you never know who you might be able to reach.


Interested in seeing how text messaging would affect your recruiting strategy? Visit for more information and a free consultation/quote.

Author: Emily Waller holds an Honors B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, has worked on numerous clinical trials, and as a medical & technical writer.  She writes to promote innovative ideas in healthcare, technology, and research within the online community.  She also loves photography, neuroscience, and household DIY projects.

Reduce the Stress on Your Recruiting Call Centers: Use Mobile Surveys to Pre-Screen Research Patients


Calling: Unknown Number.  Should you answer it?  You can just let it go to voicemail and call back if it turns out to be something important.  One less time you have to talk on the phone…

Although many people may qualify for research studies, a number of these potential study patients never receive all of the information for studies they might be interested in.  Even less are pre-screened by call centers.  In an era when talking on the phone has significantly decreased, it is hard for call centers to get a hold of potential patients, especially at a time that is convenient enough for these people to complete a pre-screening interview.  Call centers are therefore left in a difficult position.

Furthermore, when research sites do not receive the patient recruitment numbers that they need, additional stress is placed on call centers to pre-screen more patients so that enrollment can be met for studies.  With telephone calls becoming less effective, and at a time when people are texting and using the mobile web much more often, these two media are perfect for pre-screening research patients!

Forbes states that in the latest Cisco® Visual Networking Index Forecast, it is predicted that the number of mobile devices will exceed the number of people on earth by the end of this year.  This means that potential research patients are using these mobile technologies, and are more likely to complete the pre-screening process using a text or mobile web survey.

Text messaging and mobile web surveys can be used for the pre-screening process.  Not only are these surveys more effective in an increasingly mobile-connected population, they also put some of the pressure off of call centers, who simply cannot keep up with needed pre-screening numbers when potential patients do not want to talk on the phone.  They are also more convenient than mobile apps because no download is required.  Mobile surveys are a beneficial way to reach a potential patient population and complete more pre-screens, hopefully leading to increased enrollment on research studies.

Mosio for Research provides mobile surveys and mHealth text messaging technology specifically for clinical research. Learn more at


Author: Emily Waller holds an Honors B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, has worked on numerous clinical trials, and as a medical & technical writer.  She writes to promote innovative ideas in healthcare, technology, and research within the online community.  She also loves photography, neuroscience, and household DIY projects.

4 Reasons Text Messaging Should Be More Widely Used In Clinical Trials

Photo by Emily Waller
Photo by Emily Waller

As clinical trials continue to expand, making use of mobile healthcare (mHealth) technologies is vital for success.  Text messaging is a particularly promising mHealth technology for several reasons:

1.     Easy, Effective Reminders

People are always checking their phones: over a nice dinner at a restaurant, while walking across the street, under the table at a meeting… People are attached to their phones!  So, when a text message reminder to take a survey, call the research site, or evaluate drug compliance is sent, participants receive it automatically.  Then, participants are able to respond in a time frame most convenient to their individual schedules.

2.     One-Step Recruiting

According to the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), 77% of people stated they would consider participating in a clinical trial; however, in reality, only 10% of people actually participate! With the one-step recruiting process of sending a text message, basic information about a study can be sent to eligible participants, easily sparking interest and increasing the potential for study recruitment and enrollment.

3.     No Hardware or Software Necessary

Text messaging works with any mobile phone.  Downloads are not necessary, and set-up is easy.

4.     Patients Believe In It

As part of the 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, “Emerging mHealth: Paths for growth,” patients were asked about the effects of mHealth, such as text messaging services, over the next three years.  Respondents of the survey believe mHealth will allow healthcare to be more convenient (52%), less costly (46%), and of higher quality (48%).  With patient backing, text message use in clinical trials is already a success!

Convenience, feasibility, and patient confidence considered, text messaging is the next step to improving clinical trials.  Find out more about Mosio for Research at


Author: Emily Waller holds an Honors B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, has worked on numerous clinical trials, and as a medical & technical writer.  She writes to promote innovative ideas in healthcare, technology, and research within the online community.  She also loves photography, neuroscience, baking, and household DIY projects.

NEWS: Mosio Wins Leading Patient Engagement Software Customer

Mosio Wins Leading Patient Engagement Software Customer

Mobile messaging platform enhances CareWire’s patient attendance, compliance and satisfaction solution


SAN FRANCISCO–Studies show that missed appointments by patients negatively affect their health, strain the provider-patient relationship, disrupt the care delivery process and add avoidable expenses to administrative and medical resources. The traditional methods of communicating with patients via snail mail and phone calls are expensive and time-consuming and are proving more impractical to healthcare providers looking for proven, cost-effective communication methods.

Enter the mobile phone.

Today Mosio announced the integration of its mobile messaging platform with CareWire, a company that provides an automated patient text messaging service that allows healthcare organizations to increase billable appointment yield, visualize patient satisfaction in real-time and inform improvements in service.

Now, CareWire will use Mosio’s powerful messaging infrastructure to ensure scalable and reliable messaging volume.

“Research from Med Practice Informatics has shown estimated savings by using text messaging for reminders, calls and follow ups can increase practice revenue by $100,000 a year,” said Noel Chandler, Mosio’s CEO. “CareWire’s incredible technology, combined with Mosio’s interactive messaging platform, provides doctors, clinics and hospitals with a powerful mHealth solution that reaches patients via the mobile channel they use the most – their mobile phone,” Chandler added.

“Mosio’s platform will enhance our capability to grow our business quickly,” said CareWire CEO Scott Danielson. “We are pleased to partner with another leading-edge firm with a solid track record in delivering interactive mobile solutions in healthcare.”

Mosio’s two-way mobile messaging services are accessible in 16 countries. For more information on how Mosio can assist your business or organization via interactive text messaging or the mobile web, visit

About Mosio
Mosio is an award-winning mobile software company providing text messaging and mobile web solutions for businesses and organizations. Mosio’s technology is used in customer service, healthcare, research, education, libraries, events, hospitality and workforce communications, enabling our clients to communicate with their target audience efficiently via mobile messaging.

About CareWire
CareWire is a patient engagement solution that utilizes automated patient text messaging to guide patients to better, safer and more satisfactory healthcare outcomes while enhancing provider revenue. The system and brings to providers a turn-key solution that is ready and operational within days of purchase. For more visit


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