How We Get to the Engaged Patient


Applied Clinical Trials

Applied Clinical TrialsApplied Clinical Trials-02-01-2017
Volume 26
Issue 2

Reaching the point of seamless integration of patient-care options won't be easy, but you can visualize how to get there through the prism of the "Clinical Trial of Tomorrow/"

In December 2014, I wrote a blog about clinical trials in 2017, where basically I said that clinical trials would change in three years or 2017. Well, 2017 is here and can I honestly say that they have changed significantly? In the blog, I was referring to trials becoming a more integrated part of healthcare, another option made in the continuum of treatment choices offered to patients, as well as their physicians.

Lisa Henderson

That clearly is not going to happen on a large scale anytime soon. However, there are movements in that area. For example, clinical trial matching services that seek to educate physicians about potential trials for their patients or Clinical Care as a Research Option (CRCO), which would change the “equation for patients-putting them at the center of clinical trials; therefore, rebalancing the value for them to participate, not just as subjects, but active participants who have access to and understand their own data.”

The patient at the center of clinical trials is a theme that came up during a panel convened to discuss the topic of our feature section in this issue, Technology Innovation. In this discussion, the experts first flipped the term patient engagement to the engaged patient, thus reflecting a more active participant in their healthcare choices more accurately. The engaged patient was at the center of many innovations in technology, either directly or indirectly, but ultimately in the final discussions, the engaged patient was one transformational factor in The Clinical Trial of Tomorrow. 

In Ken Getz’s Clinical Trial Insights this month, he shares retrospective and prospective data that proves the value of patient engagement initiatives in clinical trials. This data, as Getz notes, can be crucial in helping change the internal mindset of senior management, who largely believes that investments in patient engagement initiatives may not have a high ROI. 

Patients, subjects, participants....let’s be clear, the difference is where and how you get your treatment. But the bottom line is we are all people and at some point in our lives, we are going to be a patient. And at another point in our lives, we may be a subject. Getting to that place of seamless integration of options is not easy. But when you look at The Clinical Trial of Tomorrow, you can visualize how that happens. Take current data sources, make them larger and of higher quality, with standards to share, using analytics and intelligence to apply information to a specific patient or disease, that finds its way to the Healthcare Environment to inform regulations, standards of care, and personalized medicine to the patient, who owns his or her own data, and shares it with privacy and trust for research. Or start with the engaged patient and work the other way, either or any direction works because they are all interrelated.

A huge Thank You to the technology innovation panel members who discussed the topics in detail to arrive at The Clinical Trial of Tomorrow matrix. They get the Engaged Patient, and see the path to the future is paved with more than good intentions. 


Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Applied Clinical Trials. She can be reached at FollowLisa on Twitter: @trialsonline

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