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Patient Engagement and Study Design Innovation: Takeaways from SCOPE 2022

Friday, February 18, 2022

Melissa Foley, Senior Director, Business Development

The Summit for Clinical Operations Executives is a premier event where leading industry innovators gather to share ideas and learn about the latest developments in research and evidence generation. It was fantastic to have this event back in person again this year in Orlando last week and spend time with the UBC team and other attendees.

A recurring theme throughout this event was the ongoing movement towards innovating our approach to recruiting and engaging patients and to gathering and analyzing their data. These two distinct lanes of innovation are critical to bringing safe and effective new treatments to patients.

Innovation in Patient Recruitment and Engagement

From the opening of SCOPE on Monday night, one theme that came to the forefront was that of achieving equity and diverse representation in drug development and research. Wide-ranging strategies are being developed and implemented; however, most agree that more progress and measurable results are still needed.

A slow, fundamental shift has been occurring over the last two years. Diminished levels of trust in vaccine research combined with previous difficulties in diverse recruitment have forced the industry to rethink taking a one-size-fits-all approach to representative inclusion in research. Sponsors, research organizations, and other partners have had to create new tools and new approaches to combat these difficulties. This has resulted in a growth of knowledge and flexibility in utilizing other means of communication, engagement, and recruitment depending on the patient type.

Innovation in Data

Industry buzzwords like ‘decentralization’ and ‘real world data / real world evidence’ have grown in prominence for the past two years as drug developers sought to maintain the continuity of their studies. SCOPE 2022 was a chance to see that these techniques and methods have led to new hybrid study designs whose impact will last well beyond the pandemic.

There has been a significant progression in how companies are synthesizing and integrating real world data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. These are no longer hypothetical use cases for generating evidence. There are distinct use cases and proven integrations for their use in clinical trials and observational research. This is in part due to the novel solutions that have appeared to modernize data collection, aggregation, and analysis.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there is no one correct approach in designing your patient engagement and data acquisition strategy. There is now a multitude of proven options for each patient type and each study type. There is also evidence of more imagination in the way researchers are synthesizing the tools at their disposal to create novel approaches in solving research questions.

UBC’s approach to research is centered on our epidemiological approach to understanding the research question at hand. This allows us to develop and strategically deploy purpose-built technology solutions, such as MOSAIC, our end-to-end data architecture solution that provides full data ingestion, aggregation, and warehousing for our biopharmaceutical partners.

Our research is supported by a dedicated Patient and Physician Services team that delivers global patient recruitment services. Combined with our epidemiological knowledge and Patients First approach, this team can use knowledge of the patient type and journey in every aspect of their approach.

To get in touch with us about our services and how they can benefit your research program, click here.