A Day in the Life of a Psoriasis Patient
Patients choose to take part in clinical studies for a variety of reasons, but chief among them is a desire to improve their own health and, therefore, the quality of their lives. For many, even when the therapy being tested wouldn’t be a cure, any improvement in disruptive symptoms can make positive differences to the lives of patients.
With a motivated group of study participants, however, sponsors should not lose sight of the fact that participants have lives outside of the study including jobs, families and other commitments. For this reason, solutions that make trial participation as easy as possible and deliver a great patient experience during the trial itself can have a huge impact on the quality of data collected.
To give you an idea of how improving the patient experience can benefit your study, let’s take a look at a day in the life of a potential clinical trial participant:
Kathryn is 40 years old and is currently thinking about taking part in a psoriasis clinical research study. She is married and has two children, a middle-schooler and a child in elementary school, both of whom are involved in extracurricular activities. She also spends time each week caring for her elderly parents and has a full-time job. Having had issues with psoriasis for most of her life and finding current treatments ineffective, Kathryn wants to take part in a clinical study. She suffers from constant itching and hopes the new treatment will finally improve her condition.
The study would require her to visit a clinical site every other week to have her symptoms photographed and complete an ePRO assessment. Unfortunately the nearest site is a two-hour drive from her home.
Combined with her work, children and parents Kathryn decides she simply doesn’t have the hours available to participate. As much as she desperately wants to find an effective treatment for her dermatology condition, she feels the clinical trial just doesn’t fit into her life. When she calls the clinician with the news, he tells her that in fact, there is a solution. The sponsor has decided to implement new technology that would allow her to use a mobile device to take photos and complete ePRO assessments at home, rather than having to travel to the clinic each time.
The clinician is also keen to adopt this new solution, because it makes the trial easier for his patients and himself while enabling him to better monitor the efficacy of the treatment over time. He will no longer have to remember how to use a separate camera, charge it or ensure that he’s transferring data securely.
Kathryn was so relieved! She agreed to participate in the trial on the spot.
There are obvious benefits to allowing patients to capture data themselves remotely. Kathryn was ready to decline signing up for the study, despite her high motivation to find a treatment for her psoriasis symptoms. Instead, by making things easy for Kathryn to take part in a study, the site was able to recruit her and, by having just one device for her ePRO and photo capture, it was simple to take part, keeping her more motivated and engaged than would otherwise have been the case.
For sponsors, an at-home photo and ePRO data capture solution like ERT eCOA Multimedia allows them to evaluate treatment efficacy more accurately while also achieving consistent quality and good compliance and retention rates.
In today’s environment, remote solutions like eCOA Multimedia help keep studies moving when patients can’t get to sites, or don’t feel safe going to sites. To monitor compliance levels, sites can take advantage of near time reporting, identifying and offering support to patients where necessary. At-home photo and ePRO capture can also help evaluate drug efficacy in many areas including CNS, other dermatology indications, skin cancer and injection site monitoring trials.