How to evaluate ePRO vendors for your clinical trial

Electronic patient-reported outcomes (often abbreviated to ePRO) are tools intended to collect patient data in clinical trials through methods such as diaries, phone apps, tablets, and other devices. These tools are useful for streamlining the work required by site staff and also create a more patient-centric environment in clinical trials.

Benefits of using ePRO in clinical trials

For clinical trials that make use of ePRO, reports suggest that it is easier for studies to gather patient feedback and that the feedback they receive is more accurate. For example, in one study, patients who self-reported quality of life updates via a tablet were more likely to mention symptoms and also more likely to have productive conversations with the clinicians on-site.

The appeal of ePRO makes sense from a patient’s perspective, too. It’s a simple way to keep track of symptoms between site visits, reducing the patient burden of having to reflect on their symptoms with weeks at a time between visits. Additionally, if patients are allowed to use their own devices, it further simplifies the process of reporting.

How to choose an ePRO vendor for a clinical trial

While all ePRO systems can be helpful, when choosing a vendor, it’s important to make sure to ask the right questions to ensure they are a good fit for a study. Below are some of our recommendations:

Does the vendor offer a “bring your own device” option?

In the past, it was standard for clinical trials to make use of paper forms for patients to record symptoms and other experiences. Once electronic devices became more widespread, sponsors would often purchase cell phones for patients to record their experiences, but this increased the cost significantly. Now that most people have some sort of mobile phone, the “bring your own device” option addresses this issue by allowing patients to use their phones or tablets to record outcomes. However, it is important to make sure the vendor allows this before committing to their services.

Does the tool integrate with other technology?

While ePRO services can be helpful on their own, their functionality can be improved when they can integrate with the other technologies utilized by a trial site. Many ePRO tools can communicate with IRT, IWRS, and IVRS, allowing sites to keep their technology and patient data organized and streamlined.

What about “eDRO”?

Though allowing patients to use their own devices in trials is a fairly recent phenomenon, the next phase of patient-reported outcomes is also happening simultaneously: eDRO. Electronic device-reported outcomes refer to collecting data from wearable devices such as smartwatches, which can gather information such as heart rate, activity measurements, and more, without patients having to keep track of this data on their own.

Patient engagement starts with thoughtful enrollment. Learn how Antidote can help you find the right patients for your trial.