The recent improvements in technology have aided almost every industry from education to defence. And clinical trials are no exception. Clinical trials are hugely based around data: data is needed to recruit patients, needs to be retrieved from patients during monitoring, and is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the trial treatment. It is estimated that each patient in a clinical trial has 8 billion data points. With these large volumes of information, researchers are presented with the challenge of retrieving and analysing all of the relevant information. Recent developments in database searching technology, wearable technology, and AI can assist researchers who are looking to retrieve, use, and analyse this mass of information. Check out the top 3 ways that technology is helping researchers move clinical trials forward below.
1. Patient Monitoring
During clinical trials, researchers aim to retrieve information about patient health and lifestyle. Commonly, researchers may ask the patient to record their health patterns and report these to the researchers, or may conduct interviews with patients to gain this information. However, recent developments in wearable technologies offer a more reliable and robust method to collect this information. Wearable technologies can keep track of patient sleep patterns, heart rate, and other vital information. The main advantage for clinical trial researchers is that the retrieved information is provided to researchers in real-time. This means that, instead of waiting for the patient to communicate their health patterns to the researchers, researchers can access the information immediately and analyse the data in real-time. The quick delivery of data may help to reduce the length of the trial. Moreover, because the technology reports the data to the researchers, it also limits the scope for patient or researcher bias during information delivery or collection, thus improving the overall reliability of the trial.
2. Medical Adherence
In order to obtain a reliable result regarding the effectiveness of the tested drug, it is clearly imperative that all intended patients actually consume the drug, thereby ensuring drug adherence. However, in some instances, it can be difficult for researchers to definitively have this assurance. In this case, recent developments in AI can help. Facial recognition technology can analyse patient facial expressions and movements to judge whether or not the patient has indeed consumed the drug. If the technology recognises that the patient has failed to consume the drug, the researcher is immediately informed. This helps to ensure medical adherence, and therefore aids to improve the reliability of the trial.
3. Patient Recruitment
Traditional methods of patient recruitment mostly consist of billboards and radio advertisements. These methods attract to the masses: for example, a trial researching UTI’s may create a billboard and ask ‘Do you suffer from recurring UTI’s?’ In doing so, any patients who suffer from UTI's are encouraged to contact the site to participate in the trial. However, researchers will likely have more specific requirements for patients, ie the trial may require all male patients aged between 30-40 years, and may be even more specific in terms of patient lifestyle choices. Traditional methods are unable to filter out patients who do not meet these requirements, and by targeting the masses, the trial may struggle to gain a sufficient number of patients that meet their specific criteria. This is where technology firms, like Citruslabs, can help. Technology is used to search through health databases and pre-screen patients to find those who meet the specific trial requirements. This means that technology filters out patients that do not meet the specific trial requirements, and provides sites with potential patients, all of whom meet specific requirements.
How can Citruslabs help?
At Citruslabs, we use technology and data-driven recruitment to deliver you pre-screened, local candidates for your clinical trial. We own & operate the leading health-app network that provides us with a large, diverse and highly engaged user base of patients with a range of health conditions. We educate our users about clinical research, enable them to opt-in to participate and then pre-screen them against your study criteria, in order to deliver you eligible, consenting and highly-motivated patients via our state-of-the-art online patient recruitment dashboard.