With an estimated three billion smart phones now in use worldwide, clinical researchers and support companies are working to catch up with how patients want to participate in clinical trials.
This powerful mobile trend is very much at the heart of a recent announcement by Greenphire and mProve Health. The two companies are joining forces to allow clinical trial patients real-time mobile access via their cell phones for a range of support functions. This includes the ability to be paid by trial sponsors electronically and make travel arrangements.
“mProve and Greenphire have a shared commitment and focus on improving the patient experience and eliminating the many frictions that can impact a patient’s participation in clinical research,” Jim Murphy, CEO, Greenphire, told CenterWatch. “Eliminating the numerous touch points for the patient is critical, and this partnership supports that.”
mProve Health is a provider of mobile technologies for patient engagement and electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA), and Greenphire is a provider of clinical payment automation, which will now provide patients with real-time access to ClinCard payment details via mProve’s engagement app, mPal.
According to Jeff Lee, founder and CEO of mProve Health, it’s no longer sufficient to offer patients paper or web-portal access.
“There is untapped potential for new mobile technologies to support, engage and collect data from patients in clinical trials,” Lee told CenterWatch. “Regulatory acceptance of their use and viability grows each year as tech vendors, pharma and task forces like TransCelerate and ISPOR develop a stronger body of evidence for their place in clinical research.”
According to Lee, mProve is well-positioned to support the demand for mobile solutions and will continue to innovate their products by integrating with patient technology vendors such as Greenphire. He also said that the company’s mPal mobile platform has become the patient engagement solution choice for 18 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies.
“Making real-time trial payment information available in the app is a natural product extension,” said Lee. He believes Greenphire is an ideal partner in part based on extensive use of ClinCard as a patient payment solution. “We value Greenphire’s long standing commitment to delivering a high-quality participant experience, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact our partnership will have on our customers.”
Murphy cited three reasons why the clinical trial sector needs such a partnership.
Both Murphy and Lee said that improving patient centricity—and patient satisfaction—is important in successful clinical trials.
Lee stressed that patients need and want to be partners in their clinical research—a concept driving the patient-centricity movement. Offering patients access to all study services, information, reminders, etc., in a single app helps make participating in a clinical research trial a better experience.
According to a recent study by SCORR Marketing and Applied Clinical Trials, the use of mobile devices in clinical trials is still in its early stages. However, patient engagement was cited by 54% of the global service providers included in the survey, the third leading reason cited for adoption of mobile technology. Improved data quality (61%) and improved patient adherence (58%) were also mentioned most often.
“Keeping participants engaged in a trial is critical to the advancement of [any] study—without participants, life science research would not exist,” said Murphy. “Any and all efforts that put the participant at the center of the focus of the study should be paramount in the advancement of medicine. If patients aren’t having a pleasant experience, they will drop out and the study will suffer.”
In a release announcing the partnership, Gretchen Goller, global head of Patient Recruitment at Icon, said her company has first-hand experience using both solutions in pivotal clinical trials.
“Both mProve Health’s mobile engagement solution and Greenphire’s ClinCard have proven to be valuable assets for Icon’s clients,” said Goller. “Combining these two solutions into one patient touch point aligns perfectly with our model for delivering patient-centric services to our sponsors.”
Patient use of mobile devices is a rising force in clinical trials. The SCORR survey found that 50% of those surveyed are already using such devices and 60% consider it to be very or extremely important.
“Patients are the lifeblood of clinical trials,” said Lee. “However, it’s no longer acceptable to enroll patients, require a myriad of study visits, tests and procedures and take their data without providing value back.”
This article was reprinted from Volume 21, Issue 37, of CWWeekly, a leading clinical research industry newsletter providing expanded analysis on breaking news, study leads, trial results and more. Subscribe »