'First of its kind' long-term, direct patient-facing support service launched by Innovative Trials

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags clinical study Research sponsors patient diversity patient retention

A new patient-first service that will support sponsors and sites accelerate the development of their therapies has been launched by Innovative Trials yesterday (October 9).

The company, that specializes in clinical trial patient recruitment, engagement and retention designed its Navigator service to provide support to clinical trial participants from referral stage to study endpoint.

The service has been successful throughout several pilot projects in the US and has been shown to boost the recruitment process and increase patient engagement, the company says.

This, Innovative Trials says subsequently leads to greater patient retention, which protects data quality and reduces costly delays, ultimately expediting the development of potentially life-changing medicines.

In its research the company found that it is currently estimated that more than four in five studies face delays due to patient recruitment issues. According to the National Library of Medicine in the US, many are likely to be discontinued due to poor recruitment and even once enrollment is complete, around 30 per cent of participants are likely to drop out, which could risk early termination. 

Hugely successful

Kate Shaw, Founder and CEO of Innovative Trials, said: “We are delighted to publicly launch our new Navigator service following a hugely successful 18-month trial run in the US.

“Clinical trial patient recruitment and retention can be extremely challenging and has become more so in recent years with the growth of personalized medicines where niche patient populations are required. Building clinical trials and related services around the needs of patients is crucial for effective enrollment in this day and age, and this is also true for minimizing dropout rates.

“Our Navigator service has been developed for our clients with the patient firmly at its heart. By putting people at the centre of this service and focusing on the support they may need, trials will benefit from more engaged participants and a more streamlined approach to the study overall.”

The Navigator service comprises a global team of ‘patient navigators’, who are experienced clinical research professionals and mental health first-aiders and will be based in the same country as participants and speak the local language. The company says they can support sites in two ways – with pre-screening support for digital referrals and patient and caregiver retention support. Sponsors are able to commission one or both components of the service.

Support through entirety of study

Innovative Trials says it will support sites by managing the volumes of referrals some of which will come from digital marketing and can often be of various quality.

Once referrals are received, the Navigator team will contact individuals within two business days to take them through a screening questionnaire and book them a screening visit if required. Once people are deemed eligible for the study, the company says the patient navigators will share their details with the appropriate site to progress the study.

The company had feedback from one client whose aim was to speed up the pre-screening process for a study as part of the service’s pilot last year. They said: “The Navigator team knocked the study out of the park and I’m so grateful to have been able to work with them. They assisted in reviewing and pushing thousands of referrals…were instrumental in the success of the media campaigns and [everyone was] so appreciative of the collaboration.”

Once a person is enrolled into a clinical trial, the company’s Navigator team can provide personalized support to each participant from start to finish.

Eloise Moffett, vice president of commercial for Innovative Trials, said: “Our Navigator offering builds on our award-winning patient-centric services to remove this burden from individual sites, allowing them to focus on the science and other areas of patient care to keep the clinical trial progressing while we ensure patients are directly supported through the enrollment process and beyond. This service is the first of its kind in providing long-term and direct patient-facing support throughout the entirety of a study.”

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