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This morning, Exco InTouch announced the appointment of Judith Teall to its newly created position of Director of Patient Recruitment. Teall comes to Exco InTouch directly from GlaxoSmithKline, where she headed up patient recruitment across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.
Tim Davis, CEO of Exco InTouch, told Applied Clinical Trials that Teall will initially review the products and services the company has in place, as well as work with current customers, to establish an assessment of where the company should build out its services and address any gaps.
“We are primarily perceived as a technology company,” said Davis. “But that’s not what we are all about. Technology is the medium by which we reach the patient—from recruitment, to retention all the way through the trial.” Specifically, Exco InTouch is aligned along those clinical process divisions; recruitment, retention and compliance, and ePRO. “There are common threads through these processes, and Judith will be bringing her experience with the patients’ experience into all these areas,” explained Davis.
Exco InTouch’s solutions and services are based around its mobile phone technology. For example, some solutions the company provides include using cell phones to reach potential patients by enabling two-way text messaging for compliance or questions during a trial. Mobile phones also provide patients with a secure Internet diary.
The Journey of the Patient
“The challenge of the industry is around this compartmentalization of the processes,” said Davis. “Rarely is recruitment bridged to retention. We see companies that want to get their recruitment done and, ‘then we’ll think about retention.’” But to Davis, it’s about engagement. “I think recruitment is the wrong word. It’s having the patient engagement throughout the process. If they lose the patient after enrollment because they aren’t thinking about retention, it’s like closing the barn door after the horses have bolted.”
And that is where Teall’s expertise will help sponsors and CROs, as well as Exco InTouch, begin to bring the patient experience to bear across all areas. “Hopefully, we can get the industry to that level,” said Davis.