Clinical Trial Recruitment Success Via Text Messaging

Recruitment: the perpetually challenging aspect of clinical trials.

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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 http://www.mosio.com/research 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.

mHealth News: Mobile phone health schemes ‘could save Europe €200 billion’, EHRs could use an infusion of mobile technology, Canadians eager for more virtual, mobile healthcare solutions

Apps like Bant (shown above), a free app under development by the University Health Network in Toronto, allow Type 1 diabetes patients monitor their blood sugar levels to help manage their condition.

Mobile phone health schemes ‘could save Europe €200 billion’

Not only can mhealth be convenient for both patients and doctors, but it could also prove to be very cost worthy too. This article by the Telegraph states that mobile phone health schemes could save Europe 200 billion euros. The savings are for many reasons but one of the major contributors is because of the ability to shorten the amount of doctors needed within the workplace by allowing patients to keep track of their own health and communicate with doctors outside of medical facilities. This is especially important for the elderly that previously would need to make multiple trips to the doctors to keep an eye on their health.

Read More

Hmm, you do look ill. I prescribe a good dose of mobile data

If everybody were to use mobile health applications to help keep track of their own health and fitness, doctors across the world would easily be able to keep track and monitor data on the human race’s overall health, causes for health conditions, and treatments that are most effective. Patients could also benefit from this data by being able to make the most out of the treatments available by knowing exactly what others with similar health conditions do to keep healthy.

Read More

EHRs could use an infusion of mobile technology

Read More

Canadians eager for more virtual, mobile healthcare solutions

Read More

Can Smartphones Help Improve Access To Medications?

Read More

Compiled by Mosio mobile messaging software. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Get a Free Online Quote Now

Text Messaging News: New Twist on the “House Call” by Doctors, Nonsensical texting may be only sign of stroke, Crisis hotlines turning to text to reach teens

Mobile Phone Program Helps Hearts

Read More

Nonsensical texting may be only sign of stroke

Read More

AAN: Texting Cuts Time to Stroke Treatment

Read More

New Twist on the “House Call” by Doctors

Read More

Crisis hotlines turning to text to reach teens

Read More

 

Compiled by Mosio mobile messaging software. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Get a Free Online Quote Now