Advancement in the medical field has accelerated greatly over the last few years, most notably thanks to the access of the internet. Recruitment for essential clinical trials, whether for medical purposes or otherwise, has become easier now that organizations are able to utilize the internet to find great pool of possible trial applicants. However, most people won’t sign up for a clinical trial just for fun. It often takes a good strategy to convince people to sign up for a clinical trial. This is often easier said than done, but there are a few strategies that work for recruiting new people to your clinical trial. Some of these strategies include:
1. Knowing Your Patient Population
It’s important to consider the patient’s point of view when designing a medical study. This helps avoid putting extra burdens on the participants. It’s also important to understand what participants think, want, and even need. For example, a study conducted by Antidote concluded that patients with chronic conditions were usually uninterested in trials for a new drug or therapy. This means that when marketing that type of trial, it’s beneficial to highlight the potential benefits of investigational treatment compared to current options. Consider your patients and their opinions, and then formulate studies and marketing strategies to fit them.
2. Inform Health Care Providers
When you’re conducting clinical trials that require patients to have a somewhat close relationship with their doctors, informing relevant professionals about the trial may be a wise strategy. A survey by CISCRP, 64% of patients would prefer hearing about the trial from their healthcare provider. When it comes to studies like this, outreach materials designed for doctors is a great way to convey relevant information. Develop a working relationship with local providers and ask them to inform their patients about the trial, leaving pamphlets when applicable.
3. Connect With Non-Profits And Advocates
When patients hear about a trial from someone that they already know and trust, they’re more likely to join a clinical trial. By getting connected with nonprofit partners and patient advocacy spaces that are relevant to your trial, you’ll be opening new doors for patients to hear about your study. Some organizations will promote a trial for a free, while others will do it for free or at least at a discount. Discuss your trial and propose a deal that works for everyone involved.
4. Utilize Digital Campaigns
As we mentioned above, the internet is a great way to access potential patients. There are 3.5 billion social media users in the world, and marketers can easily find patients among them. From marketing tactics like ads, cookie tracking, and more, there are plenty of ways to find potential patients on the internet. While the initial ad is important, it’s also important that the site it directs to is clear and gives as much information regarding the trial as possible. People will want to know exactly what the trial entails, and how they’ll be reimbursed if at all. The average American sees over 1,000 advertisements per day, and not because it doesn’t work. Clinical trial recruitment and marketing go hand in hand and is often very successful when done consistently and properly.
5. Provide Localized Lab Options
Using technology with clinical patient recruitment has been an important focus lately. This is especially true with COVID-19 shifting the preference to virtual spaces. Therefore, providing localized lab options in conjunction with virtual meetings and processes, when possible, often results in a greater sign-up rate and success rate. This allows patients to easily participate in research via virtual trials, while stripping location as an obstacle. This also makes it easier for those with social anxiety to take part, as they’re more likely to join a trial that largely takes place virtually, with intermittent lab and hospital visits when required.
6. Contact Patients Who Are Already Interested
While this may sound like an obvious thing to do, it’s often overlooked. When you contact patients who are not qualified for a trial, you waste time and money and it’s often upsetting for the individual as well. If you reach out to patients who have already shown an interest in your clinical trials and are eligible for the trial, you create a streamlined process. While it may be tempting to reach out to just about anyone who may be interested, it’s often wise to start by focusing on your sample that is likely to result in sign-ups first, and then broadening your search to include other possibilities.
Clinical trials are an important part of development. The medical advancements we’ve seen over the last fifty years would not have been possible if it weren’t for clinical trials along the way. Finding participants for your trial isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard easy. Reach out to possible patients with clear information and utilize sources both in person and online to expand your patient pool. Consider marketing solutions and broaden your horizons by using multiple strategies. Most importantly, be patient and consistent, as the results you’re looking for may not happen overnight.