Mobile technology in healthcare
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Ways text messaging can improve a randomized control trial

Randomized control trials (RCT), the gold standard of clinical trials. If your site can learn how to perform RCTs well, your site will be successful. You will be awarded more (probably randomized control trial) studies, and will have a good reputation with pharmaceutical companies and CROs.

Stand out as a site performing randomized control trials

Be different. Be cutting edge. Use the latest technology.

How can you do this? Use Mobile technology in healthcare and text messaging. A service widely available to patients in randomized control trials, text messaging will allow you to get ahold of patients for recruitment, ensure that drug treatment is going well during the trial, and perform follow-up surveys. Text messaging will allow you to have a close relationship with your patients and be there as support for the duration of the randomized control trial. Your trials will be significantly improved by boosting these patient relationships, as your patients will open up to more consistent participation, and your recruitment numbers will skyrocket.

Text messaging and adverse events in randomized control trials

In a double-blind study, text messaging can improve your randomized control trial by giving your subjects an instantaneous way to reach your site with any concerns. If a patient feels as though an adverse event is occurring from the drug, he or she is able to get ahold of a site staff member, talk through the symptoms, and schedule an office visit if necessary. This is particularly useful if a subject is in a place where he or she would not be able to make a phone call to the site: on public transportation, at work, out to dinner, et cetera. The patient is put at ease by expressing his or her concern right away.

Although most RCTs are double-blind, some may only be single-blind studies, where your site staff is aware of the drug allocation of the subjects. It is important that your staff ensures that patients are treated the same way – if a subject who is allocated to a placebo study arms texts with an adverse event concern, he or she should be treated the same way as a subject allocated to a drug study arm.

Develop a standard plan of attack for randomized control trials

Using text messaging in clinical trials is, for some, different and new, but is easy to use and very effective Mobile technology in healthcare for all. Your text messaging approach will be even more effective if you develop a “standard” plan of attack used for all randomized control trials at your site. One easy way to do this is to create a schedule for your RCTs. For example, two weeks before your enrollment start date, text prospective patients who have previously completed a trial at your site. One week before enrollment, text any prospective patients who are references to your site. One day after a patient’s enrollment visit, send a follow up text asking how the patient is doing and inquiring if they have any questions or concerns. The list goes on – you can formulate a plan, become familiar with it, and use it well in all of your site’s randomized control trials.

Improve and increase your randomized control trials

Once you successfully implement text messaging into your clinical trials, you will be able to refine your standard plan of attack for randomized control trials, continue improving your trials, and further increase the number of clinical trials that your site is awarded.

 

Interested in seeing how text messaging can improve your randomized control trials? Visit http://www.mosio.com/research for more information and a free consultation/quote.

Photo by malias on Flickr. Licensing: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/#.

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