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A Broader Reach: Leveraging Mobile Technologies To Improve Clinical Trial Recruitment

Clinical trials play a crucial role in the development of new treatments and therapies, helping to uncover potential risks as well as benefits that can improve the lives of patients with specific health conditions. Identifying eligible patients and recruiting them in adequate numbers is critical to the success of clinical trials, but not always easy to accomplish.

Not only can it be difficult to recruit patients to participate in clinical studies, but it also can be challenging to ensure their ongoing engagement to deliver successful outcomes. Traditional recruitment methods are slow and yield low participation due to the lack of efficient mechanisms to identify a sufficiently large pool of eligible patients, routinely recruit patients at clinical encounters, and enroll them as participants.

With these challenges in mind, LPHI and its partners established the Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet) to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of patient-centered research. An initiative of REACHnet was to create an end-to-end patient recruitment and engagement mechanism to increase participation in pragmatic clinical trials.

REACHnet is part of the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), which is designed to make it faster, easier, and less costly to conduct clinical research by harnessing the power of large amounts of health data nationwide. REACHnet houses data from participating healthcare organizations, including Ochsner Health System, Tulane University Medical Center, and Baylor Scott & White Health. It has compiled data on more than 5 million patients in Louisiana and Texas, and designed a recruitment strategy that would engage patients at the point-of-care during regular healthcare encounters.


Click here to read the full blog written by Elizabeth Nauman, MPH, PhD, Director of Health Services Research with the Louisiana Public Health Institute.