Digital technologies could help boost physicians’ awareness of clinical trials

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Ben Comer Senior Manager, Health Research Institute, PwC US February 21, 2019

While 81 percent of the R&D executives surveyed by PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) said that physicians could do more to encourage patients to participate in clinical trials, many clinicians often are unaware of clinical trial opportunities or don’t have a clear way to identify patients eligible to participate.

The data

Physician awareness of trial opportunities is low, while 42% believe trails should only be considered a 'last resort'

The solutions

  • Patient awareness. Patient communities and digital technology are making it easier for patients to find, understand and connect with clinical trial opportunities. Patients' experiences during clinical trials – often shared online – can help inform and optimize new clinical trial designs.
  • Patient recruitment. New digital tools may help trial sponsors, CROs and investigators optimize recruitment time and maximize convenience for patients.
  • Patient screening. EHR systems, online tools and disease registries may help trial investigators identify qualified trial participants to speed recruitment and avoid costly delays, such as study amendments.
  • Patient enrollment and participation. Remote trials may accelerate enrollment at lower costs, and help underserved populations participate in clinical trials.
  • Patient-reported outcomes. PROs can support primary clinical trial endpoints, and have been used to obtain regulatory approvals.
  • Patient adherence and retention. Digital monitoring devices may improve medication adherence and create real-world evidence to support drug safety and effectiveness claims.

HRI impact analysis

Numerous traditional healthcare companies, nonprofits and new entrants are bringing unique capabilities to the clinical trial process, to accelerate patient recruitment, data collection and analysis, and access to new therapies.

Organizations that can identify bottlenecks in the trial process, such as trial recruitment, may be able to partner with technology providers, EHR vendors and other third parties to create an ecosystem that brings a best of breed approach to trial recruitment. Such a system would include patient education and advocacy as well as technological solutions.

For more on how digital tools and data can help biopharmaceutical companies overcome delays and bottlenecks in the drug research process, please download HRI’s report, Clinical trials in the New Health Economy: Digital tools and data driving awareness, engagement and retention.


Contact us

Ben Comer

Ben Comer

Senior Manager, Health Research Institute, PwC US

Benjamin Isgur

Benjamin Isgur

Health Research Institute Leader, PwC US

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