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Customer Experience and Design

Why Isn’t Twitter Used To Recruit Patients For Clinical Trials?



As we mentioned in our life sciences trends guide for 2016, patient recruitment is a constant challenge that needs to be confronted head-on with innovative tactics and technology. The mere fact that only 5% of cancer patients ever enroll in a trial is simply unacceptable, considering how connected we are in the digital era. 

A new study featured in the Oncology edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms that our efforts to leverage digital technology for the recruitment of subjects in clinical trials have yet to really surface. The investigation indicates that Twitter is not being utilized to its maximum potential, when it comes to subject recruitment.

Through the analysis of messages, or tweets as they are more commonly referred to, which had to do with lung cancer, researchers found that the social media application is being used more as a method of spreading messages that could help prevent the disease and support patients who have already been diagnosed. 28% of tweets were classified as support, 28% as prevention, and 18% had to do with clinical trials. However, of the tweets that were related to trials, almost none focused on patient recruitment.

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Eugene Sefanov

Director, Industry and Regional Marketing

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