In the rapidly evolving landscape of clinical trial patient recruitment, the challenges of patient recruitment, patient retention, and data management have never been more pertinent. As the industry grapples with these complexities, technology emerges as both a challenge and a solution. Continuum Clinical’s MERIS Total Engagement Solution, a suite of globally compliant clinical trial enrollment and retention products, promises to reshape this landscape, offering solutions that are not only efficient but also transparent and patient-centric.
In a candid conversation, we sat down with Nariman Nasser, Executive Vice President, Products and Partnerships, and Paul Ivsin, Executive Vice President of Trial Engagement Services at Continuum Clinical, two senior executives at Continuum Clinical, who are leading figures in the clinical trial domain, to delve deeper into the capabilities of MERIS, its potential impact as a clinical trial system on the industry, and the future of patient recruitment and retention in clinical trials. Their insights provide a unique glimpse into the intricacies of modern clinical research and the role of technology in addressing its challenges.
Nariman, can you delve deeper into how MERIS aids in guiding sponsors, especially considering the challenges they often face in patient recruitment?
Nariman: One of the core challenges is providing sponsors with clarity and direction throughout the patient recruitment process. As the clinical trial industry became more complex, with an increasing demand for transparency, efficiency, and a seamless user experience, we felt the need for evolution in our clinical trial system approach. MERIS isn’t just a successor; it’s a reflection of our learnings and feedback from countless clinical trial enrollment and engagement experiences. It’s designed to address the ever-evolving challenges and nuances of modern clinical research, especially in patient recruitment.
With MERIS, we’ve integrated features that offer transparency and actionable insights. For instance, our analytics system offers sponsors a granular view of every stage, allowing them to make informed decisions. The benchmarking capability is another standout feature. It helps sponsors evaluate the effectiveness of their patient recruitment methods against industry standards, ensuring that they achieve optimal results. By offering a clear roadmap and real-time data, we empower sponsors to navigate the complexities of clinical trials with confidence.
Clinical trials often face hurdles in the recruitment phase. How does MERIS Enrollment ease this process, especially for sponsors unfamiliar with the intricacies of recruitment?
Nariman: Recruitment is indeed a multifaceted and often daunting task. With diverse patient populations and specific criteria for each trial, it’s easy for sponsors, especially those new to the process, to feel overwhelmed, which is why MERIS offers a structured and intuitive approach. MERIS Enrollment integrates tools and analytics that provide real-time insights, allowing sponsors to adjust and refine their patient recruitment strategies. This not only streamlines the process but also empowers sponsors with the knowledge and confidence to navigate the complexities of patient recruitment.
Paul, from your experience, what sets MERIS apart from other clinical trial systems in terms of patient retention?
Paul: The true challenge in patient retention is anticipation. Many clinical trial systems are reactive; they address issues as they arise. MERIS, on the other hand, is designed to anticipate and mitigate potential challenges in patient retention. MERIS Retention, with features like tailored content delivery and visit reminders, keeps patients engaged. Additionally, the real-time feedback mechanism, such as post-visit surveys, allows trial coordinators to identify and address potential concerns promptly, ensuring a smoother trial experience for both patients and researchers.
Nariman, with the vast amount of data collected during trials, how does MERIS ensure data integrity and security, especially given its transparent approach?
Nariman: Data integrity and security are non-negotiable for us. While MERIS aims to offer transparency, it never comes at the expense of security. MERIS is built on state-of-the-art encryption methods and strictly adheres to global data protection standards. We also have rigorous access controls in place, ensuring stakeholders access only the data they’re authorized to view. Beyond just technology, we regularly conduct training and awareness programs, ensuring that our team is always updated on best practices in data protection.
Paul, can you elaborate on the benchmarking capability of MERIS and how it aids sponsors in evaluating their patient recruitment strategies?
Paul: Benchmarking, in essence, provides a reference or a standard against which processes or outcomes can be measured. With MERIS Analytics, sponsors can compare their patient recruitment strategies against known industry benchmarks. This is invaluable because it offers a clear perspective on where they excel and where there’s room for improvement. But beyond just comparison, MERIS provides actionable insights, helping sponsors refine their strategies in real-time, leading to more efficient and effective patient recruitment campaigns.
To wrap up, how do you both envision the role of technology, especially platforms like MERIS, in shaping the future of clinical trials, especially in areas like patient recruitment and retention?
Nariman: I believe technology will be vital in the evolution of clinical trials. With platforms like MERIS, clinical trials can become more adaptive, efficient, and patient-friendly. The ability to gather, analyze, and act on data in real-time will be transformative, ensuring trials are not just faster but also more robust in their outcomes.
Paul: I echo Nariman’s views. As the challenges in clinical trials grow, technology will be our main ally. Systems like the MERIS Total Engagement Solution will serve as blueprints for integrating efficiency, transparency, and patient-centricity, ultimately guiding the industry towards a more holistic and adaptive future, especially in the realms of patient recruitment and retention.
Moe Alsumidaie is Chief Editor of The Clinical Trial Vanguard. Moe holds decades of experience in the clinical trials industry. Moe also serves as Head of Research at CliniBiz and Chief Data Scientist at Annex Clinical Corporation.