Trial recruiting looks to tap online community leaders

Craig Lipset, head of clinical innovation, Pfizer.
Craig Lipset, head of clinical innovation, Pfizer.

A three-way partnership of, WEGO Health and TrialReach aims to enlist influential patient opinion leaders to accelerate clinical trial recruitment and completion.

The approach combines's ability to enlist opinion leaders using proprietary crowdsourcing software with WEGO's health social network of more than 100,000 active bloggers and tweeters on health issues. TrialReach brings a database on clinical trials with content that, the company says, is easier for patients to understand.

The model aims to provide trial candidates with a full view of the role they might play in a trial, and places it within the context of a supporting community engaged in advancing its health.

“Patients trust other patients, and opportunities to help patient advocates become ambassadors for clinical research can only help address the challenge of study recruitment,” says Craig Lipset, head of clinical innovation at Pfizer told MM&M.

Such community-based tactics presumably could address longstanding trial challenges, including low female representation and scarcity of subjects for rare diseases. While the new model might be seen as a challenge to traditional CRO recruitment, CROs themselves are exploring new technologies to this end.

The tools, training and information that CureClick provides to the thousands in WEGO's network will “take recruitment to a whole new level, TrailReach CEO Pablo Graiver said in a statement. “There is no one more motivated to solve this problem of patients not knowing about or taking part in clinical trials than other patients. We have seen how powerful patient advocates are at TrialReach.”