How Clinical Trials benefit from Patient Centricity

In recent years, participants in clinical trials have become increasingly empowered and are shaping the process. Read here how Patient Centricity focuses on the needs of patients and what changes result from this.


The needs of patients have changed over time: Today, participants in clinical trials inform themselves more often and more intensively, question procedures and make their own demands. As a new trend in healthcare, patient centricity puts the focus on patients' wishes - with decisive advantages for research and participants.


Patients as the focus of clinical trials

In the past, clinical studies focused primarily on the medical data of patients. Patient-centredness puts the subjects and their needs in the focus of research. Thus, constant surveys of the study participants and their relatives are part of the scientific standard of the team. They ask how patients experience the clinical trial, about suggestions for improvement or personal preferences. The team integrates the answers to these questions into the implementation phase of the study so as not to lose patients in the process.


Raise awareness already at the beginning of clinical trials

Even before participating in a clinical trial, potential patients must be actively involved in the processes. This already starts with the educational talk in clinics. Here, study teams can inform patients about the aspects of participation and explain the procedures and goals of the research project in order to raise the awareness of interested parties. The sooner patients deal with the study design at an early stage and ask questions, the better they can prepare themselves for possible participation.


Needs of patients in clinical trials

With the patient-centred approach, studies now look at participants more comprehensively and focus on the impact of the clinical trial on their different areas of life:

  • Does the clinical trial have an impact on the patient's job, family life or daily routine?
  • What other needs of the patient should be considered besides the medical requirements?
  • What are the side effects of the drug or therapy?
  • Do the patient's needs change during the clinical trial and to what extent do treatment and processes need to be adapted?
  • Does the team communicate sufficiently with the patient? What opportunities are there for feedback?
  • What processes can be simplified so that less time commitment is required by the patient?


Social media as part of Patient Centricity

Social networks can play an even more decisive role in the future. Platforms, links on the clinic homepage or online forums support the information process.

Social networks are taking on an increasingly central role for patients: Here they seek advice, exchange ideas with like-minded people and report on their experiences. A dialogue with other affected people that can have a positive influence on study participation.

The exchange between patients is also beneficial for the study management and doctors. Individual "patient journeys", i.e. the course of the disease, can be tracked and evaluated. It also offers the possibility of filtering out patients' pain points and reacting to them in a targeted manner.

One challenge here is that it is difficult for doctors to respond to problems or requests on social networks. Moreover, not every patient shares his or her experiences and needs on platforms and can thus be found and addressed. This often leads to gaps or patient journeys that are difficult to follow if patients are not constantly on the social platforms.


Patients influences clinical trials

The better informed the subjects are, the greater their understanding of the procedures of the study or any inconveniences that may arise, and the more motivated they are to continue participating.

At the same time, patients are questioning more clearly which medication they are being administered, what influence it has on their health and the course of treatment. Many subjects want to influence decisions, know the consequences of their participation and support it at the same time.


Advantages of patient centricity

Patient centricity overcomes many of the challenges of clinical trials:

  • Minimising the drop-out rate in clinical trials
  • Stronger patient engagement
  • Increase in the quality of studies


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