Gamification In Clinical Trials – Can It Help Engage Subjects?

The increasing adoption of technology in clinical trials, including mobile devices can work well with the gamification approach. Gamification in clinical trials makes a great tool that can help keep the patients engaged. To ensure clinical research is successful, a CRO like Veristat uses patient retention programs. In the pharma industry, companies have started using games to promote disease management thus gamification helps improve their relationships with the patients. But the question begs; Is gamification the future of clinical trials?

Patient recruitment

Although patients often enroll for clinical research for selfless reasons, most may have a false view about participation or aren’t aware of the chance they have by participating in studies. Clinical Research Organizations can use gamified interactive technologies to help people understand the process involved in a clinical trial. CROs can explain the process in a simpler or interactive way about the advantages of participating. Since gamification techniques often leverage people’s desires for achievement, rewards, status, community collaboration, altruism, and more, they can be used to encourage desired user behaviors and these can be useful to stakeholders.

Help retain patients in clinical trials

Besides recruiting patients, CROs must keep them engaged during the study participants to ensure the success of the trials. Oftentimes, you have patients dropping out due to lack of engagement or interest in the study. Some even drop out as they find the test participation too taxing. For these reasons, pharmas can use gamification to achieve more patient-centric clinical trial participation. Games can offer participants a more interactive, engaging, and fun experience, thus encouraging patient retention. Research participants can be recognized and rewarded for tasks like updating and monitoring their tailored journals, offering reviews regarding their experience, among others.

Patient compliance

For patients to take part in clinical trials, they’ll need to learn new behaviors around clinical research protocol requirements. Participants might, for instance, need to complete a journal or take investigational medication at a specified time/day. In such instances, gamification can serve as a behavioral modification tool. That helps subjects adopt new habits that enhance patient compliance. For effective and ethical use of gamification, patients must be ready to change their habits. So, you must consider the patients’ feelings regarding your clinical research, as this can affect your clinical trial success.

Improving site performance

Sponsors may be looking for innovative methods like offering rewards for sites once they pass pre-determined milestones. Principal investigators get motivated when they watch their sites on the leaderboard to monitor how they rank on key metrics like data query solutions and patient enrolment. Also, exposing your clinical trial teams to the leaderboards, metrics, and other activities when they carry out their everyday tasks can potentially boost their quality and performance. As such, inspiring friendly competition helps motivate site performance for things like patient enrolment, activation, and more.

As new data capturing technologies continue to develop, the opportunities of how clinical trials are conducted are starting to change. Since gamification is finding a place in the health industry, many research phases can be improved through gamification.

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