From a broad standpoint, perhaps the single largest challenge facing many clinical research professionals today is patient recruitment. One of the most common reasons for clinical trial delays is patient recruitment and related screening issues – but at the same time, modern developments have begun showcasing major improvements to several areas of this realm.
At AGA Clinical Trials, we’re proud to offer high-quality clinical trials that involve patient-centric recruitment methods and ensure all our volunteers are well aware of what they’re signing up for and experience no confusion or issues. What are some of the top issues our and other clinical research professionals must navigate during patient recruitment and screening, how has the recent COVID-19 outbreak changed this area, and how have modern technological developments played a big role in changing recruitment? Let’s take a look in this two-part blog series.
Recruitment Target and Screening Issues
For any research trial, pre-screening is a vital process of determining various candidates’ eligibility and suitability for the trial upcoming. Pre-screening has commonly been done through in-person surveys, telephone interviews and similar formats.
The most common issue for some research centers: Metric issues. Traditional pre-screening metrics like paper questionnaires or in-clinic interviews are not efficient, requiring major time investments that often prove costly in the long run, especially for large-scale trials requiring hundreds or thousands of participants. In addition, these laborious processes may deter some potential participants from signing up.
Luckily, technological advances are changing this picture significantly.
Among numerous other major impacts it’s had, the COVID-19 outbreak has led to more reliance on communication technology than ever before. This also has an impact on the medical trial world: Pre-screening digitally has never been easier, and the last year or so has forced many people who didn’t utilize technology in this way before to become familiar with it.
The potential effect on the clinical trial world here is immense. As more and more candidates are easily able to be pre-screened online, the potential benefits are massive for both them and the researchers counting on their participation. Our subsequent sections will dig into many of these benefits.
For starters, this sort of technology usage for clinical trial pre-screening allows research centers to divert vital funds away from over-staffing and toward other areas. Other forms of screening like phone surveys or in-person questionnaires require staff to oversee – online screening does not, and means research entities can focus every spare dollar in the budget on the treatments and patient comforts needed for a successful trial.
For more on how technology is improving patient pre-screening and recruitment for clinical research, or to learn about any of our trials, speak to the staff at AGA Clinical Trials today.