5 Ways Electronic Patient-Reported Outcomes (ePRO) Boost Patient Engagement

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As the clinical research industry kicks off a new decade, it’s clear that patient-centricity is on everyone’s mind. eSource, including electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO) and decentralized trial designs, are among the patient-focused tools giving empowering trial participants – and helping researchers combat cost and complexity.

In alignment with our goal of supporting trials with safe and reliable eClinical tools, we at Medrio want you to be fully aware of the value of patient centricity. There is incredible untapped potential in this area for many types of trials. Those who take full advantage of new resources and strategies position themselves to help more patients on shorter timelines. Let’s look at 5 ways ePRO can have a positive impact on patient engagement:

1. Improve overall patient experience

21st-century trial participants of all ages use smartphone apps in their daily lives, so this technology doesn’t require significant changes in behavior. Apps also have capabilities that are impossible with paper. For example, with ePRO and other eSource apps, it’s possible to send photos, videos, and push notifications to facilitate patient comprehension.

Additionally, since 85% of trials fail to retain enough patients, allowing trial participants to share data from home opens doors for greater patient diversity and fewer dropouts. Reducing site visits is a crucial way this technology enhances trials.

2. Reduce patient burden and ensure compliance

Getting patients to fill out patient diaries accurately has been a long-standing challenge for many research teams. One study showed that 79% of patients routinely input inaccurate information.

Simple technology has incredible power to drive change here. Push notifications sent directly to a participant’s phone can get even distracted patients to enter accurate data and improve compliance by 80% or more. Because electronic patient diaries are time-stamped and only allow valid, in-range entries during specific time windows, it’s difficult to make mistakes.

3. Enhance efficiency for participants and researcher teams

With paper, research teams have the time-consuming and error-prone task of entering patient-reported outcomes into their system. It can be weeks before discovering errors or missing data. By then, it’s often too late to retrieve or fix this information.

A unified platform can bypass data transcription altogether. Patients get a push reminder to enter information, and their data seamlessly syncs with the EDC in real-time. Research teams can instantly review data without any painstaking efforts. At the close of a study, all ePRO data is already in the database.

4. Boost patient safety

The fact that research teams can see patient-reported data in real-time also improves overall patient safety. Research teams gain the power to can respond to adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs) faster than ever before.

5. Better data, lower costs, and more focus on the patient

By reducing the patient’s burden, getting high-quality data takes less effort. Research teams then have more bandwidth to answer patient questions and focus on their needs. While ePRO-based studies may be a higher upfront expense than paper, the overall benefits on trial quality, costs, and timelines can lead to significant savings.

Additionally, BYOD trial models allow participants to use their device of choice, eliminating the need to purchase and track provisioned technology. Research teams can store and easily modify electronic questionnaires for future studies.

In our industry, we’re all working towards the common goal of helping populations in need. Developing a solid patient-focused strategy streamlines workflows and gets to the heart of what clinical research is all about: the patient.