Contract Research Organization WCCT Global Evaluates the Landscape of Online Sharing and Patient Recruitment for Clinical Trials through Social Media Platforms
COSTA MESA, Calif., Mar. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — WCCT Global, a full-service contract research organization (CRO) based in Orange County, California, is pioneering the field of patient recruitment through the use of digital marketing and various social media platforms through their recruitment division called “In-Site”. Furthermore, the CRO is fully embracing the potential benefits that can be found for clinical trial patient recruitment and online perception through avenues such as social sharing, blogging, and review sites. In a recent survey conducted by WCCT Global, it was found that not only is social media a large source of patient recruitment, but that patients are likely to share their experiences after having completed studies, and furthermore, that they are most likely to share their positive experiences rather than their negative ones after participating in a trial. What this translates to is the likelihood that the social sphere can be used across the industry to influence the public perception of the clinical trial experience in a positive way.
WCCT Global’s Associate Director of Marketing Matt Miller stated, “We were pleased to find that patients are seeking information on clinical trials through social media, as well as a means of educating and connecting with others with similar conditions. This survey suggests that companies that are not using these digital avenues for enrollment and protocol design are missing out on valuable information. They should understand where patients are turning to for more information and use these venues to improve their current or future trials.”
One issue that the industry faces is how to moderate online discussions such that Adverse Event Reporting and the spread of misinformation does not become an issue or serve as a detriment to future trials or the recruitment of potential patients. WCCT Global, in their findings, believes that the best way to address this issue is to direct patients to specific social venues that are managed by those who are recruiting and enrolling for the trial, and to restrict discussion of ongoing trials.
If successful, companies can increase their chances of successfully learning from patients for the development of future studies. Both CROs and Sponsors can use the experiences collected in these online conversations to improve patient recruitment efforts and trial outcomes as a whole, further solidifying their presence in the clinical trials industry, as WCCT Global has done.