Patient Centricity Takes Center Stage at dPharm ’16

(WASHINGTON, DC) Clinical research innovators came together from across the country at the 6th annual DPharm: Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials. We joined attendees from across the industry to celebrate last year’s achievements, discuss industry missteps, and investigate the future of clinical trials. 

This year, many speakers focused on the patient experience as the core of the clinical trial. We look forward to seeing the results of giving patients a seat at the table.

mProve at dPharm' 16

mProve Health sees patient centricity as a core value, because designing our products around an excellent user experience has been a matter of course since our days in the commercial sector. Again and again, we see the benefits of enthusiastically engaging the patients to improve our own product design. How much can be accomplished now that researchers are doing the same?

Many companies are launching marketing and recruitment campaigns organized around this idea of patient centricity. A leader of this is Eli Lilly (@LillyPad): they have begun engaging clinical trial volunteers by raising awareness of clinical trials and honoring participants with the Hero’s Journey Art Project. Through a documentary, sculpture project, and social media campaign under the hashtag #herosjourneyart, the company honors clinical trial subjects and highlights the importance of clinical research. The project hits two of the key patient motivators for clinical trial participation: altruism and community connection. The documentary and sculptures help bring awareness and communicate the value of clinical trial participation to prospective patients, and the social media campaign helped spread that message while also building an online community of support for participation. By partnering with pop-news site Buzzfeed, they show a desire to recruit patients via education and explanation, demystifying the clinical research process and making it much more accessible.

At the first day of dPharm, we caught a glimpse of what the patient is still missing from clinical research trials. Megan McBride, MPH, Associate Director of R&D Operations Innovation at Janssen (@JanssenUS), highlighted the importance of treating patients as partners. Janssen enabled patients to get on-demand access to their data during a clinical trial, promoting transparency and boosting engagement in the process. When they have access to their own data, patients regain a sense of agency over their own care and are encouraged to be active trial partners.

Patients often participate in clinical trials hoping for an improvement in their own health status. Giving back relevant data from the clinical trial keeps them invested, even when the data is the only tangible result of a treatment. During his conference presentation, Richard Milani, MD (@rvmilani) from Ochsner Health Systems (@OchsnerHealth) noted the company’s provision of monthly report cards to patients. The report card provides individual results on clinical tests, as well as educational material on the significance of the tests and a section denoting the patient’s progress through the trial. These efforts’ positive reception is good news for us, as our Trial Guide app has some similar functionality: the first thing patients see on opening our app is a visual study progress meter, and they can easily click through to educational information about drug trials and their specific disease. We have repeatedly confirmed that keeping the patient informed about the trial is vital to maintaining patient engagement. We are extremely excited to see movement toward giving data back to the patient.

mProve Health was proud to contribute to the conversation as both an Associate Sponsor of dPharm 2016 and a leading innovator tackling patient engagement and retention. We saw a reflection of our patient-centric approach to clinical trials reflected around us, a sign that we—and the industry—are moving in the right direction.

Coauthored by Ryan Burns and Mindy Gruba.