Convenience Enhancing Solutions for Clinical Trials

In ongoing efforts to minimize study volunteer burden, sponsors and other stakeholders have invested heavily in the implementation of various convenience enhancing solutions over the past several years – ranging from the use of technologies such as wearables, smartphone apps and electronic tablets to supporting study volunteers with transportation needs and the provision of child care.  This investment is reflected in the results of CISCRP’s latest Perceptions & Insights (P&I) study, a global online survey of over 12,450 individuals, including over 3,650 prior study volunteers.

The 2019 P&I study shows evidence of growth in the use of certain initiatives in clinical trials since 2017:

·        the use of text messaging has grown from 18% in 2017 to 21% in 2019

·        the use of smartphone apps increased from 10% to 15%

·        wearable device use grew from 8% to 13%

·        concierge services (e.g., transportation to/from study clinic) increased from 7% to 11% in 2019 (see Chart 1).


The most frequently reported initiative was patient experience surveys at 29%.  Notably, almost 1 out of every 3 people indicated not using any of these initiatives, although that proportion has decreased since 2017 when 40% reported not using or not being offered any of these services during their clinical trial.  Usage varied among different subgroups of respondents. The use of electronic solutions such as smartphone apps and wearable devices, for example,  was more prevalent among younger populations, whereas older adults were more likely to report not using any of these services.

Chart 1

Stakeholders have been particulalry interested in better understanding the impact of these various initiatives on the patient experience.  The latest P&I study findings reveal that these implementations are indeed positively influencing clinical research participants’ medical journeys.  Among study volunteers that used these services, a significantly higher proportion reported that their clinical research study met or greatly exceeded their expectations, compared to individuals that did not use any of these services. 

The provision of childcare had the greatest impact on patient perception, with 40% indicating their experience exceeded expectations, compared to just 14% among those that did not use any service (see Chart 2).  These individuals also rated the care and attention they received during the study higher.


The expansion of these service offerings will assist in reducing the burdens of clinical trial participation.

Chart 2

The 2019 Perceptions & Insights executive summaries are available free of charge on the CISCRP website under Research Services.  CISCRP will also be presenting the aggregate results of the Perceptions & Insights study at industry conferences, company meetings, and other forums in the coming months.


For a more detailed, in-depth report with a facilitated on-site or webinar meeting, please contact Annick de Bruin at or 617-725-2750 x400.

Recommended Posts