Tobias Kruse from Trials24: "We reach people who would otherwise never hear about trials"

Created on: 02/07/2024

The Munich-based company Trials24 organises digital patient recruitment for clinical trials and research institutes. Dr Tobias Kruse, founder and CEO, tells us in an interview why online marketing campaigns for patient recruitment are so successful.


Dr Kruse, patient recruitment is one of the most difficult challenges in clinical trials. How does Trials24 tackle this?

"Finding participants for studies today requires targeted online awareness campaigns. We need to reach patients where they are - on the internet, on search engines like Google and on social networks like Facebook. Trials24 does this for CROs like Alcedis, sponsors or research institutes. We recruit the right patients for the respective study. Because compliance, i.e. the willingness of a participant to stay in a trial until the end and to follow all regulatory requirements, is the next important step."

What makes finding the right patients possible?

"Anyone who comes across our online advertisement on Facebook or Google is first directed to the study-specific website. Here, the patient is thoroughly informed about the study, its approach and goals. It is important that we strictly adhere to the ethical guidelines: We do not make any promises of cure, but instead explain the framework objectively. If the person is still interested in the study after this, they participate anonymously in an online pre-screening. They fill out a questionnaire, which determines if they are suitable for the study. If that is the case, the potential participant has the opportunity to enter their contact details and will be contacted by trained personnel in the next step. They refer the patients to the study centres and accompany them until official participation in the study."

Which age groups are reached digitally?

"It is actually a misconception that only the younger generation gets information on the internet. Our most successful online campaign on Facebook was aimed at cancer patients who were over 65 years old. The older generation also surfs social networks or searches Google for new therapy approaches. In addition, we have made the experience that children and grandchildren often come across clinical studies for their parents and grandparents on the internet and point them out. If you're on Google and Facebook like we are, you reach a large proportion of internet users."

What difference does Trials24 make to clinical research?

"The recruitment of patients is essential for the success of clinical trials. With the help of Trials24, it is possible to search for suitable participants at an early stage, so that later difficulties in patient recruitment are avoided. We thus take the risk out of patient recruitment early on. Furthermore, with our online campaigns, we reach people who would otherwise never hear about a clinical trial. Especially in the field of rare diseases, new studies are very interesting for those affected."


Text: Alcedis - Editorial Team