• Joanna Thomson

Why automated assistants are the future of clinical trial recruitment


Successful clinical trial recruitment isn’t just about patient-centricity. In fact, what many research sites don’t realize is that clinical trial sponsors can be the difference between prolonged recruitment and early trial finish dates. The problem is: investors are hard to come by and even harder to keep happy.


An academic study by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute found that 54% of the clinical trials surveyed were labeled ‘one-and-done’ by investors. What clinical trial sponsors need from research sites is not only a clearly communicated plan of action, but also a great deal of efficiency that researchers must maintain throughout the clinical research process. How research sites can provide some assurance is by investing more in new technological solutions.


What research sites need is something that will keep investors and clinical trial sponsors engaged in what they have to offer now and in future clinical studies. With 86% of clinical trials failing to meet recruitment targets every year, automated assistants could be the answer to strengthening the currently fragile researcher-investor partnership at the root of the issue. Sponsors want to invest in the future of healthcare and it is time that research sites give them a pretty good reason to invest long-term.


Robotic process automation


Robotic process automations (RPAs) take on any and all repetitive tasks of clinical research. A form of artificial intelligence, RPAs are the height of organisational tech. They can take the forms of anything from automated referral screeners to bots that transfer patient data into clinical trial databases. The future of clinical trial recruitment shouldn’t require staff to spend hours upon hours inputting information into Excel and Access - and this is where RPAs can really streamline the whole process.

The point of RPAs is to make clinical studies as simple and as time-efficient as possible; and this is something that clinical trial sponsors like to hear. Proven to increase accuracy, improve quality and scalability of production, and provide added security (especially for sensitive data), RPAs really give investors something to think about investing their time and money in. With AI projected to drive a new wave of productivity and efficiency in the global labour market, employing RPAs gives investors one more reason to invest in your study.


Big data processors


According to a recent survey by the McKinsey Global Institute, big data could generate up to $100 billion in value annually for the healthcare industry. For now, these big ideas remain conceptual but, for tech-savvy research sites, they could soon be reality. With the US healthcare industry now producing 2,314 exabytes of data every year, the future of clinical research will involve a data-driven approach to maintaining not only the patient-researcher relationship, but also the researcher-investor partnership.

The first and foremost area of interest with big data can be found in patient recruitment protocol, as more data from patients could mean a more complete picture of patient lifestyles. It’s estimated that, every minute, 3.8 million searches are made on Google, 2.1 million snaps are shared on Snapchat, and 1 million people log onto Facebook. If research sites can implement big data processors to organize this scale of information, they will be able to understand how their clinical studies can align with the individual’s everyday life. From this, the industry as a whole can look to produce more meaningful methods of connecting with potential patients, person to person.



For research sites running clinical trials over extensive periods of time, it has always been a struggle to avoid non-compliance. Some of the most common issues in this area concern compliance deficiencies in the following: participant safety concerns, clinical protocol deviations, informed consent violations, and failure to maintain adequate case histories. Yet, with the help of digital monitoring apps, these could soon be problems of the past. Data collected from patients through these apps can be carefully organised and monitored for any significant changes that could endanger the patient’s welfare or the integrity of their data during the trial’s run.

What is clear is that traditional clinical protocol, in many areas of clinical recruitment and patient-welfare, just aren’t cutting it anymore. With our digital world now demanding digital solutions, clinical research recruiters must now seriously consider the impact of big data to further their own understanding of the patient’s wants and needs. Partnering with analytics and marketing experts is now an essential step in trial planning that will soon become standard practice - even for smaller companies or independent researchers.


Patient recruitment dashboards


If we know anything, it’s that a patient recruitment dashboard is the answer to efficient clinical recruitment and healthy patient retention. This is our area of expertise after all!


Conventional advertising is a minefield when it comes to establishing a connection between you and your patients; and clinical trial sponsors know this. The problem is that most public engagement with clinical trials, particularly through TV and radio ads, is untargeted and random. That isn’t all. For research sites across the country, the odds are against them by using hospital or physician databases too: it’s unlikely you’ll find candidates when 48% of sites under-enroll, with 15-20% of sites failing to enroll a single patient.


Using a patient recruitment dashboard software tool makes screening, scheduling, and communicating with patients a breeze. Whether you’re a site coordinator, administrative professional, or clinical trial sponsor, you’ll be able to 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 studies’ progress without risking study validity. An easy-to-use clinical recruitment dashboard tool is the ultimate automated assistant for patient recruitment and retention.

Citrus: a world-leading patient recruitment dashboard

Here at Citruslabs, we've created Citrus, the ideal fully integrated patient recruitment and retention platform, to help any researcher improve their current enrollment metrics with less effort, drive deeper communication, and boost effective retention that works. Further, we ensure research sites are connected to a thoroughly educated and engaged pool of participants with over 3 million patients on record; 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 platform 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 and retention starts here.


Ditch your spreadsheet with our world-leading patient recruitment software.


  • 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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