At Parallel 6, our Clinical Reach platform can be summarized as a clinical trial management platform that serves as an engagement solution for patients, CROs and sponsors. There are a lot of components that go into making this a reality. A big piece of of the puzzle involves recruitment and eConsent. I sat down Parallel 6 cofounder and VP of Digital Media, Adam Blejski, to discuss the process in more detail and to pick his brain about digital and social tools that have integrated with recruitment methods.
Tell us about your role at Parallel 6.
I manage our Digital Services Division, which focuses on digital engagement solutions for our healthcare, government and commercial clients. Specifically, this means we use complex, cross-channel marketing tools and tactics to find the precise customer, patient or constituent our client seeks. We deploy conversion and engagement strategies to facilitate virtual relationships and create a 1:1 conversation that moves the patient of customer to the desired action. As the patient or customer moves with our client, we ensure there is a digital, social and mobile component to keep them close, move them to an action and learn as much as possible about their needs, wants, behaviors and more.
What is your current focus within the Clinical Reach platform?
Clinical Reach focuses on clinical trials and healthcare. And to be clear, Clinical Reach consists of a few parts. Recruiting and eConsent , engagement and retention. So, in this scenario for my team, the recruiting and eConsent, we are typically finding the most qualified potential patient, qualifying them for a clinical trial, clinical study or healthcare service, moving them into the engagement system and facilitating their interaction with the client through our platform and services.
From the CRO perspective, they gain the benefits of using our digital services to help find the needle in a haystack patient. They also, through the Clinical Reach platform, are able to retain patients, access real time data and actually influence trial participation. On top of that, the detailed data facilitated through the Clinical Reach platform in relation to each study, patient, site, treatment gives a present and future-looking glimpse into behaviors, point of influence, trends, demographics, adverse events and more that are invaluable to clinical trials and research in general.
From a sponsor perspective, Clinical Reach can give real-time vision into the performance of the trial overall, specific sites, investigators, compliance, participation and more. De-risking a trial is a concern and when a platform like Clinical Reach allows stakeholders in a trial at the sponsor level to accurately know from a macro and micro level what is happening in real time, since trial inception or compared to other trials, it could mean millions of dollars. It could mean millions because the faster trouble areas are identified and corrected, the faster sites and investigators are optimized, the faster adverse events are caught and handled, the more patients remain in and complete a study, these points all affect a trial in a potentially significant way and time is money, retaining patients is money, risk aversion is money and data that can be leveraged to more efficiently recruit or retain for future trials is money.
What type of data are you trying to gather through digital recruitment strategies?
In the digital recruitment phase, we are looking for indicators specific to an individual or a group they are affiliated with that would most likely qualify them to consider a specific trial. We are trying to pre-qualify as best we can the potential patients we attract through their age, sex, race, location, interest, disease affiliation and more. In digital recruitment, we are not gathering data as much as we are using the data provided by various tools (social advertising tools for example or contextual display targeting) to find the best potential patient. For example, if we are looking for a study that calls for patients who are women and just given birth, near a range of select sites in the U.S., through social advertising tools, we can find those women who have a newborn. If the study is a diabetes study, we might layer on a filter that also finds those mothers who are affiliated with diabetes support groups or diabetes awareness. We could also easily target those new mothers through programmatic media buys for web inventory around the subjects of motherhood and layer with diabetes terms. We have a very robust tool set we can use to find the right potential patient and they all are based on data and user demographics and for recruitment, which is how we use the data. We leverage it, we do not necessarily collect it, that occurs in the patient engagement part once the patient is enrolled in a study utilizing the Clinical Reach platform.
Clinical trials are not a one size fits all approach. Can you explain how Clinical Reach is able to identify a niche demographic for a particular study?
The recruitment services portion of Clinical Reach knows that every trial or study is like a snowflake. The protocols are different, the potential patients and their individual concerns and situations are different and their influencers (doctors, family, friends) are different. So, what we do is create a strategy for the protocol, sites, patients and trial goals. This means potentially using any combination of the tools and tactics we are afforded. The strategy determines the recruitment mix, meaning to what degree and how do we use, search, social, display, TV, radio, etc. to fill the funnel with the best potential patients.
Which platform do you find most effective with digital recruitment?
It depends on the trial. Traditionally, the most effective means of recruitment (not specific to digital) are TV, print, email, health portals, trial postings at site, social, family and friends. And we don’t think that any trial recruitment strategy should start with negating the traditional channels and their value. A multi channel approach can yield great results.
The difference we see is that our multichannel approach is really morphing into an omnichannel approach. Where we perhaps used to run all channels in parallel at the same time, but more in a swim lane model and measure the effectiveness completely removed from all other channels or inputs, we now (due to the interconnectedness of social, digital, mobile, smart TV) view the approach less as swim lanes and more like a spider web. Yes, each tactic, tool or channel contains it’s own metrics (impressions, conversion rate, cost per randomization), but we take the time to think about the relative effectiveness and how they affect each other. We can’t truly optimize a campaign in today’s digital and mobile world without considering all channels and removing the swim lanes approach. A tactic we use in social might reverberate and touch a part of a display campaign or email campaign or vice versa. The expertise we bring to the table is really the robust understanding of channels, optimization, conversion and metrics in a multichannel sense and adding a layer of understanding and management to the campaign at a higher level, which allows us to see the big picture better, and faster, optimizing in real time.
To learn more about Parallel 6 and our Clinical Reach platform, please contact us and request a demo.