Clinical trials are vital if we wish to improve healthcare, as such they are an important component of EBM. However, trials are not straightforward and one major problem can be the recruitment of enough patients to ensure the trials have enough power. There are numerous papers on the topic (well hundreds) and below are a sample:
- Recruitment Challenges in Clinical Trials for Different Diseases and Conditions
- Strategies for Recruitment and Retention of Participants in Clinical Trials
- Improving the recruitment activity of clinicians in randomised controlled trials: a systematic review
- Methods to improve recruitment to randomised controlled trials: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis
- Clinical trials: can technology solve the problem of low recruitment?
I raise this as Trip has had two conversations in a week with organisations involved with trial recruitment and both are very interested in working with Trip and our network of users. Trip has around 100,000 registered health professionals, the vast majority will appreciate the need for clinical trials and therefore be sympathetic to the need to recruit patients.
So, the idea seems to be that if we are made aware of a trial, of say heart failure, we alert health professionals who have indicated an interest in heart failure (either through their registration or their search history) and are based geographically close.
Early days but it seems like a great idea. As well as hopefully improving patient recruitment it could also help Trip’s finances – win:win.