How clinical trial matching software can amp up your recruitment
Clinical trial matching software is one of the newer developments in the research space. Typically, sponsors work directly with clinical trial matching software companies to find solutions for their research portfolios. This technology matches patients with clinical trials in a process that’s simple both for patients and sponsors, and can help drive patient recruitment as well. We outline how clinical trial matching software works and how to use it for your research portfolio.
How clinical trial matching software works
Clinical trial matching software, such as Antidote’s Match tool, allows patients to find research they may qualify for by answering questions about their medical history and basic demographics. The most sophisticated clinical trial matching tools work by structuring the inclusion and exclusion criteria included in clinical trial listings and matching them against a patient’s responses. For example, Antidote’s clinical trial matching engine uses structured data and proprietary algorithms to explore a patient’s eligibility for every trial. Matching software may also take into account the patient’s location and how far they’re willing to travel.
Everyone has access to clinical trials listings via ClinicalTrials.gov, where you can see eligibility criteria, published in a free-form text format. However, inclusion and exclusion criteria have become increasingly complex, making it more difficult than ever for patients to parse through clinical trial listings on their own. Listings on ClinicalTrials.gov are also designed for researchers, and most patients can’t understand medical jargon. The goal of clinical trial matching software is to take complex information included in a trial listing and translate it into a tool as easy to use as the search tools we use in our daily lives.
How to use clinical trial matching software for your trials
One benefit of clinical trial matching software is that it gives patients interested in finding a trial an accessible option for searching. The same software also has the ability to drive patient recruitment efforts for sponsors and research sites. There are a few different ways sponsors can work with these companies to find a solution that works for their portfolio of trials:
Work with a vendor to customize a clinical trial matching tool for your website. A clinical trial search tool specific to your trials makes it easy for patients to search through all of the studies you’re currently recruiting for. You can further improve the patient search experience – and make it more likely that qualified patients will find your studies – by adding additional screening questions to your matching software.
Recruit for one or multiple trials using a prescreener powered by clinical trial matching technology. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are different for every trial. A patient who isn’t qualified for one trial might be a candidate for another. With single-trial prescreeners, those patients can easily slip through the cracks. Prescreeners powered by clinical trial matching software allow sponsors to evaluate patients’ eligibility against multiple trials in their portfolio. This approach can help accelerate clinical trial recruitment for sponsors running more than one trial in a given condition area.
Find patients who have already expressed interest in taking part. One benefit of using clinical trial matching software is that it makes it easier to identify patients who are actively interested in finding a clinical trial. Patients who have searched for studies using clinical trial matching software have already raised their hands to participate in research, and are more likely to be engaged and interested in trial participation. If you’re interested in going this route, ask a potential vendor whether their clinical trial matching tool captures patient information so they may be contacted later. It’s important to clarify that your vendor is up-to-date on data privacy laws and consent, too. Some tools give patients the opportunity to sign up for alerts letting them know when new trials are added that match their profile. For example, patients search for trials and sign up for alerts using Antidote Match on more than 250 partner websites. Our team is then able to connect with those patients when new trials are available.
Incorporate other data points into your matching tool. Questions around disease symptoms and medication use are typically simple for patients to answer. Other questions, such as the latest results from a blood test, are tougher for patients to answer off-hand. If a clinical trial requires patients to meet specifications related to lab results and other tests, clinical trial matching software may be able to integrate with other sources of data. For example, a matching tool may be able to combine a patient’s responses with their blood test results if it's integrated with a testing lab. If you’re considering using clinical trial matching software, ask your vendor about their available integrations with other tools. One trend we’ve seen since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold is the rise of decentralized trials, and with it, the need for trustworthy lab partners. Oftentimes, sample collection still needs to happen to determine eligibility, so ensuring that you have reliable lab partners in your back pocket is necessary.
Clinical trial matching software can help sponsors reach their recruitment goals faster, but more importantly, it also offers a better experience for patients. It gives patients the opportunity to match to more than one trial, increasing the likelihood they’ll find one that works for them. In this way, clinical trial matching software is a patient-centric option for recruitment.