People who drop out of trials often cite lack of transportation as a factor according to Nariman Nasser, VP of site optimization at Continuum Clinical, who told us partnering with a rideshare firm will help address this problem.
Nasser also predicted that Contiunuum’s partnership with Lyft will save its customers money, citing billing and reimbursement as areas of potential savings.
“By using the ridesharing service the [reimbursement] process gets relinquished from the patient and the site and they’re unburdened by that now,” she said, explaining that ride funds are allocated by Continuum and the study sponsor behind the scenes.
Daniel Trigub, Healthcare Partnerships at Lyft, was equally enthusiastic about the partnership, telling us the idea is to make getting to trial sites a simple process.
“Other than just providing access to transportation to segments of our population who don’t have access to transportation, or who may be using a bus or a train or some sort of other public transit which isn’t as convenient or reliable, the other thing is certainly cost savings,” said Trigub.
He explained that Lyft is familiar with patient transportation, telling us “healthcare in general, and serving the 65 and older segment of our population, is extremely important to us.
Looking to other industries
The partnership fits with growing sponsor and CRO focus on patient-centricity according to Nasser.
She told us: “As an industry in the next five years I’d like to think that a very large proportion of our clinical trials are offering on demand transportation of some sort to patients.”
“If we’re going to put our money where our mouth is, then we need to do things that are simple like this that other industries are making available to us,” she added.
Moreover, Nasser said the industry should constantly be looking to other industries that are changing the way people are working, interacting, and going to their healthcare appointments.
She argued that “at the end of the day clinical trial patients are consumers – and I think as an industry we haven’t really been able to recognize that yet.”