Why patients struggle to find clinical trials

Patient recruitment is a vital part of the clinical research process, but it’s also one of the areas that researchers struggle the most with. This can be attributed in part to the fact that a lot of patients simply are not aware of clinical trials that they might be eligible for.


A Clinical Leader study found that a troubling 50% of Americans were unaware of clinical trials, and only 4% had previously participated in clinical research. The study also revealed that 20% of those patients said that they would feel confident in knowing where to go to find a suitable clinical trial.


This lack of awareness is particularly detrimental in minority groups, where a lack of representation can dangerously limit the generalizability of the results beyond the study.


Another issue is the lack of doctor-to-doctor referrals, which can arise from the lack of an efficient communication system between doctors, or the fear of losing patients to another healthcare provider.


Further, it is increasingly difficult for patients to access reliable information online or in their communities. While patients used to rely on their physicians for medical advice, the vast amount of information available on search engines and health boards has challenged this -- but not all the information found online is reliable, and even the content coming from reputable sources can be written in a manner that’s difficult to understand for most people. This can make clinical trials feel inaccessible overall.


A study by Anderson, Borfitz, and Getz looking at public attitudes toward clinical trials even revealed that over half of the participants (59%) didn't know where clinical studies were being held.




Beyond the internet, the traditional methods used to spread awareness of medical trials, such as public ads or telephone marketing are not proving to be the best strategy for improving things.


What is the Solution?

One of the most important bases to cover is having a patient recruitment plan. Surprisingly, some clinical trials still rely on historical data and estimations in order to create enrollment forecasts -- but the specific conditions for each trial vary too greatly for this to be effective. Instead, it is vital to plan ahead using a methodological approach detailing how patients will be recruited.


Beyond planning, there has been quite a bit of evidence in favor of technological solutions to patient recruitment woes. These solutions, such as our Citrus platform, use sophisticated software paired with our health app network to match the right patients to the right clinical trials. We do this through analysis of their medical information, demographics, and online and mobile behavior in order to recruit patients that are suitable for the clinical researcher’s objectives, therefore targeting participants who will derive the most mutual benefit from the trial.


Need more Information?


Citrus is a fully integrated recruitment and retention software that fits any clinical trial and simplifies the implementation of patient engagement in your clinical trial. Whether you are already working with CTMS systems or not, Citrus is the perfect add-on to make patient interaction effective.


Since 2015, our team has been hard at work raising awareness of clinical trials across the globe. A Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ company and a graduate of the renowned Techstar program in New York, Citruslabs is at the forefront of patient recruitment and retention technologies. With over 3 million patients now recorded on our databases, our patient recruitment dashboard is fast becoming the most efficient method of trial recruitment.

Now a #1 health app in 17 countries, our Mindmate app is helping to revolutionize the way we think about healthcare. Mindmate “[takes] senior care into the digital age” (Forbes, 2018) by providing people with cognitive decline the essential tools to help them rebuild and maintain strong mental health. Trusted by millions of users, our health community continues to grow as the content available expands to the needs of individuals today.

With more than 200 research sites now using the Citrus platform to screen thousands of patients every month, researchers are now well on their way to finding new treatments for hundreds of different health conditions - something that just would not be possible without a technological solution. Make sure that your clinical trial is in the lucky 12% and turn that luck into guaranteed results with Citrus.


Still a little unsure? Check out what our customers have to say about us here.


And If you’d like to know more about how Citruslabs can help you recruit more effectively, get in touch with our team here.