Velocity Clinical Research (“Velocity”), the leading integrated research site organization with 40 locations across 19 U.S. states and Europe, announces the findings of its U.S. patient survey, which aimed to better understand patient preference for study decentralization activities in clinical research.
Emails with an anonymous survey link were sent to study volunteers in the company’s database during H1 2022. There were 1,129 responses. Questions focused on study design and decentralization methods, in order to understand people’s previous experience with trials and preferences for future participation.
The survey revealed three key insights:
Insight #1: Patient-facing technology is not widely used in research today and most patient experience of technology is of relatively simple modalities such as eDiaries. However, volunteers of all ages are overwhelmingly willing to use it.
Insight #2: Home visits will not solve racial and ethnic diversity issues, and could exacerbate them.
Insight #3: 60 percent of volunteers aged 18-34 have participated in multiple studies.
Dr Paul Evans, Chief Executive and President of Velocity, said: “Velocity Clinical Research puts patients at the heart of everything we do. As one of the largest site businesses globally, Velocity Clinical Research is well placed to gather and publish insights from volunteers across the country on their experience of taking part in clinical research.
“Healthcare is probably one of the last sectors to undergo digital transformation, and this was accelerated during the COVID pandemic. There has been much noise around decentralization methods as the cure for solving access and diversity issues. Whilst technology can certainly add flexibility, we must not impose methods that may actually deter people from participating in research. The key is to give patients choices.
“This research shows that people like the flexibility of decentralized methods and a hybrid model of in-person and virtual study visits, with in-person visits taking place at the clinic rather than at home. The findings have implications on protocol design, patient recruitment techniques and technology development, which should all be focused on reducing patient burden.”
Insight 1 – Patient-facing Technology is not widely used in research today and most patient experience of technology is of relatively simple modalities such as eDiaries. However, volunteers of all ages are overwhelmingly willing to use it
Use of decentralized technology in trials is still at a low level. Close to half of patients (43 percent) surveyed across all age groups had no experience at all with study-related phone calls, texts, or home visits.
A majority of study volunteers are comfortable with the idea of using technology for study visits and data collection. The respondents strongly supported the use of e-diaries (82 percent), telehealth visits (78 percent), wearables and home monitoring devices (75 percent), and at-home collection of bio-samples (64 percent) during future participation in clinical research.
Home visits, strikingly, are the least desirable decentralized option, with only 51 percent of research participants favoring this for future trial participation, and the willingness to participate in home visits varied widely across demographic groups..
Insight 2 – Home visits will not solve racial and ethnic diversity issues, and could exacerbate them.
Overwhelmingly, participants in Velocity’s U.S. patient survey would prefer to attend a clinic for visits with healthcare professionals (76 percent), rather than conducting in-person study visits at their homes (26 percent). This is even more pronounced among people from racially and ethnically diverse populations. 70 percent of young black women under the age of 35 and 90 percent of older black women aged 55-64 prefer in-person visits conducted at the clinical trial site.
Of the people surveyed who have previously taken part in clinical research, there is a strong preference for a hybrid solution of clinic-based and telehealth options for health practitioner appointments.
Insight 3 – Millennials and Gen Z are taking part in more studies. Up until the age of 35, both men and women are more likely to take part in more than one clinical trial.
In our group of respondents, half of women (50 percent) ages 18-24 and 58 percent of women ages 25-34 had taken part in multiple trials. This rose slightly for men in the same age categories at 57 percent and 64 percent, respectively.
Velocity Clinical Research wholly owns and integrates its 40 dedicated research locations across the U.S. and Europe. It is the first and largest site network of its kind and allows for superior patient enrollment and consistent, high-quality data delivery. As a result, CROs and big pharmaceutical companies can benefit from simplified access to international clinical research across primary and specialty care areas.