Icon funds new research on informed consent at Carnegie Mellon

By Zachary Brennan contact

- Last updated on GMT

Icon funds new research on informed consent at Carnegie Mellon

Related tags: Informed consent

Dublin-based CRO Icon is sponsoring a series of research projects at Carnegie Mellon University as part of a long-term partnership to find new ways to improve the comprehension and retention of informed consent documents by clinical trial participants. 

The research tools will be multimedia solutions from ICON’s Firecrest suite of products, which includes investigator training, patient recruitment and retention services, eConsent, mobile data capture and an integrated patient and investigator portal. 

Frances Abeton, VP of Icon’s Firecrest, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that Icon has a long tradition of using new tools to help trials progress, including a “range of study management tools that have been incorporating multimedia technology to improve the compliance, consistency and quality of study-related activities by study personnel for over 15 years…We don’t want to make assumptions about what the patient needs and then try to push the technology on the patient.  We are asking the patients what they need, we are building a partnership with patients and putting the patient at the centre of the study​.” 

The push to be more tech-savvy is also evident in Icon’s two recent acquisitions – Aptiv Solutions​, which provides software and IT capabilities around trial monitoring, and the scientific communications and market access firm MediMedia Pharma Solutions​. 

Abeton added that the partnershipwith Carnegie Mellon “will scientifically test, measure and validate what patients need in order to ensure truly informed consent. The research will use advances in behavioural decision research and information technology, including audio visual and multimedia technologies from Firecrest, to test and measure different approaches for ensuring truly informed consent by patients​.” 

The research at Carnegie Mellon will be led by Professor Baruch Fischhoff, whose research focuses on risk communication, analysis and management, informed consent, security and environmental protection.

We are looking into ways to help patients make well-informed decisions about whether to participate in clinical trials​,” said Fischhoff. “Our research will take advantage of advances in behavioural decision research and information technology to design and evaluate approaches for ensuring that patients understand the potential risks and benefits of joining trials​.” 

Following scientific peer review, the results of the research will be publically accessible and will influence the development of new Icon innovations, including study management tools from Firecrest.

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