How To Achieve Patient Centricity In Clinical Trials?

5 mins read

Syndicated content, interview taken by Clinical Trials Innovation Summit 2018 by iqpc.

Patient centricity is becoming increasingly important for companies as well as individual practitioners in the health care industry. By putting the patient at the very heart of the clinical trial process – from diagnosis, to study treatment and post-treatment support – leading providers are able to optimise the cost, quality, and outcome of the care they offer, facilitating clinical trial participation for patients.

As part of an ongoing report into the current trend of improving patient-centric practices, we spoke to Emily Tan, Corporate Vice President and Enterprise Account Leader of PAREXEL, a leading Contract Research Organisation (CRO) and provider of global biopharmaceutical services.

Clinical Trials Innovation Asia: Why do you think that patient centricity is steadily growing in importance for companies involved in delivering clinical trials?

Emily Tan: The design and execution of clinical trials and studies have traditionally been focused primarily on the desired scientific research outcomes. An unintended consequence of this is that at times trial

participation can be burdensome to the patients or their caregivers. A patient centric approach endeavours to put patients at the centre when planning clinical trials, to overcome limitations and problems that have been experienced in the past.

CTIA: Problems such as?

ET: Patients dropping out of studies, feeling undervalued, failing to follow prescribed procedures or attend protocol required visits, forgetting to take study medication, and so on. This has adverse impact on the integrity of the study as well as safety and wellbeing of the patients.

CTIA: So how can CROs make their studies more patient-centric? What approach does PAREXEL take?

ET: PAREXEL has always put the patient at the heart of everything we do. For the clinical trials and studies we are involved with, this means trying to ease the burden on the trial subject with patient centric approaches. This is achieved through measures to understand their medical and personal circumstances and to accommodate them to the extent possible at different stages of the trial, making patients feel included, valued and supported.

For example, most patients find out about clinical trials through their doctor and the information they receive is often complicated and heavy with technical terms and medical jargon. We support patients right from the planning phase of the trial, for example, educating them about its purpose, their medical condition and answering any questions or concerns that they might have.

We utilize educational videos, an e-consent tool and other technological means to make sure that our patients can access and understand everything they want to know. Similarly, after the trial is completed, providing feedback on trial outcomes and ensuring that they are integrated back into routine clinical care is important.

CTIA: Alongside education, how do you support patients in an ongoing manner throughout their trial?

ET: Besides patient education, examples of our patient centric approaches include actively involving patients and caregivers in each phase of the study, to optimise protocol design.

Also, when appropriate, direct to patient shipment services can be planned for study drugs, testing kits or other trial equipment (all with clear, user-friendly instructions), cutting down the number of visits the patient needs to make to the hospital or test centre. This is especially important for our patients with mobility issues, as it relieves a significant burden on them and their caregivers.

Additionally, the use of wearables to remotely and  securely capture, transmit and store data and the deployment of virtual trials brings the research to patients and their caregivers, reducing the practical, financial and geographical barriers to clinical study participation for patients and their families.

PAREXEL has recently launched our Patient Innovation Center. We are very excited about this offering which brings the full breadth of our services, expertise and innovation to clients to help more effectively implement these approaches. You can read the full article here

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