3 ways to approach recruitment for clinical trials

Finding the right people to participate in clinical trials is no easy task, but with the right approach, sponsors can hit the sweet spot in reaching their recruitment goals. 

We look at three ways to approach recruitment for clinical trials: work with clinical trial recruitment companies to meet patients where they are with effective clinical trial ads, develop partnerships with advocacy groups, and enlist reliable lab solutions.

Meet patients where they are with digital recruitment

One overarching benefit of digital patient recruitment is the ability to reach patients wherever they are online, including Facebook, Quora, Pinterest, TikTok, and search platforms like Google and Bing. At any given time, 3.5 billion social media users in the world are scrolling through Facebook feeds, creating Instagram stories, and Tweeting out the latest news happenings. It’s easy to understand why these digital platforms make sense for engaging patients around clinical trials. 

Meeting patients wherever they are digitally starts with researching your audience. The internet is massive, but where are your patients interacting? Knowing the best platforms to serve your ads will make your campaign much stronger. In addition, incorporating feedback from real patients, A/B testing creative on digital ads, using numerous platforms, and paying close attention to analytics will yield strong results for your campaigns.

Serving patients a variety of messaging and imagery can help sponsors and recruitment companies pinpoint what resonates most with patients, and what questions they need answers to in order when considering participation.

Develop partnerships with advocacy groups

With the medical research industry focused on patient centricity, the patient voice has been increasingly incorporated into the planning and execution of clinical trial recruitment campaigns.

On the evolution of advocacy groups in clinical trial patient engagement, Antidote’s Head of Partnerships, Lindsey Wahlstrom-Edwards notes that “advocacy groups help shape and set the research agenda and open up dialogues around where needs are not being met in terms of current treatment options. With a deep understanding of the patient population, they can also be key players in helping develop new methods of engaging patients in research.”

To better understand what patients want, it’s pivotal to talk to advocacy organizations who often act as a bridge between patient communities and sponsors, and understand patients' wants, needs, and challenges. Most importantly, advocacy groups provide guidance on how best to reach their communities with research opportunities. 

Work with reliable lab solutions

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many trials have become siteless. However, critical testing data still needs to be collected to successfully enroll a trial, or see it through to completion. 

That’s why you’ll want reliable labs, electronic medical records platforms, and transportation companies in your back pocket to meet the needs of patients who are willing to participate in research but do not wish to risk their health going to a site. Having labs that you can count on helps lift the barrier to participation when it comes to clinical trials. Nobody should be excluded from your trial because they don't have access to transportation or can’t make it to a lab. Working with a direct-to-patient vendor — or their recruitment company partners — to safely provide participants with access to lab/diagnostic services can accelerate enrollment in your trial. 

With these three approaches, Antidote has proven successful in saving sponsors recruitment time, while providing a positive experience for patients.