• Joanna Thomson

News: $33.5m telehealth investment could resolve patient retention crisis


The paediatric telehealth firm, Hazel Health, has announced that the company will see large, third-party investments by the likes of Owl Ventures, Uprising, Centene, Bain Capital Ventures and UC San Francisco. With the aim of widening accessibility to the firm’s already expanding telemedicine service, the funding will also, according to an article by the firm’s CEO, “better serve our communities and provide preventative healthcare to more students”. Hazel, who currently operate a series of virtual care clinics in schools across the US, has also announced a growth of 400% in the service’s use in 3 months; ultimately, adding to an overall increase in the demand for telemedicine approaches that we’ve been watching develop over the last few months.


As the average drop-out rate for patients remains at a poor 30%, research sites are in desperate need of alternate clinical protocols to help revamp the clinical research industry. With Hazel Health reporting patient engagement highs of 70% in their first year, it looks like telehealth could hold the answers to the global, patient retention crisis.


Why telehealth?


The fact is that, right now, medical professionals in the US are overburdened; an article by The New York Times reveals ‘patients are treated like widgets, and doctors and nurses are treated like assembly-line employees’. What’s more, across the medical industry, there are actually more administrators than doctors available to respond to patient needs, with the current ratio between staff at 10:1. This needs to change if research sites hope to give patients a positive and customized experience.

A study by IQVIA also estimates that the US spends around $2.9 trillion on healthcare every year, which is more than any other nation per annum. Yet, it is also assumed that around $200 billion of these costs could be avoided. Some of these unnecessary costs cover travel expenses for appointments and medication non-adherence - both of which can be easily avoided if researchers employ a series of telemedicine strategies.


The key benefit to telemedicine is an increase in the quality of patient care, which has a chain-effect on patient retention. As patients can be digitally linked to research sites, candidates can now voice any worries or concerns via a technological platform - with some platforms allowing 24/7 modes of communication. Today, there are around 4.6 billion active internet users as of July 2020; meaning that the Western world is more connected than ever before. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for the clinical research industry to take advantage of.


As in-person medical care is an increasing challenge for many, telemedicine will now save a vast amount of patients a trip to the pharmacy. A report published by the American Migraine Foundation backed up these claims by recommending telemedicine as an alternative to traditional clinical protocol, proving this change to be especially beneficial under social-distancing regulation. While traditional medications are still recommended, the use of telemedicine will be essential for providing alternatives that we are now seeing emerge from the industry.


What is the alternative?


If research sites are looking for a less drastic change to their existing clinical protocol then a patient recruitment dashboard may be worth looking into. While telehealth is producing results for those willing to rearrange their business model, a dashboard is an easily-integratable alternative that will work to the same high standards.

Citrus: your all-in-one patient recruitment dashboard

Integrating a patient recruitment dashboard with your existing metrics is not only going to offer you a wider scope of patients, but also make trial recruitment a lot smoother. Using this state-of-the-art tool makes screening, scheduling, and communicating with patients a breeze. Site coordinators and clinical trial sponsors alike can log in and check on the status of your study’s enrollment, send communication to potential participants, and measure your enrollment goals. With a blinded access trial recruitment dashboard (like Citrus), clinical trial sponsors and CROs can even view their clinical study’s progress without risking trial validity. An easy-to-use clinical recruitment dashboard tool is the ultimate automated assistant for patient recruitment and retention.



Here at Citruslabs, we've created the ideal patient recruitment dashboard to help any researcher improve their current metrics. With over 3 million patients on record, we ensure research sites are connected to a thoroughly educated and engaged pool of participants; so, it is no wonder why we have such high patient confidence! Now, we would say that other models are available - but this would be a lie. In fact, unlike that offered by other patient recruitment companies, our easy-to-use dashboard is the first-of-its-kind for the market; giving researchers a unique insight into their patients’ wants and needs via industry-leading technology. The future of clinical recruitment starts here.

  • Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with us here, and check out our archives for all our top tips and tricks on running successful clinical trials in today's constantly changing industry.

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