Survey: Modern Patient-Centric Approach Significantly Improves Patient Engagement: Digital Tools, Adaptable Participation, and Empathetic Communication Leverage Success

Trials24 and Climedo Survey

Munich, Monday, March 27, 2023 – Trials24 and Climedo are announcing the publication of their global patient survey. The goal was to gain insights into clinical trials from patients’ perspectives, focusing on barriers to participation, expectations, and suggestions for trial improvement.

Survey results show that patients highly appreciate empathetic and regular communication with study site staff (50%). Most respondents expressed the need for digital tools and online communication channels (64%). Another critical factor for patient engagement was the frequency of site travel, with patients (50%) preferring shorter distances with an increasing number of visits.


Most global patient survey participants were from Europe and North America, spanning various age groups (19 to 60+ years), with the majority (68%) female. Out of the 124 respondents, approximately 30% had previous experience with clinical trials, while 70% had not but were open to participating in the future. The surveyed patients represented various therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, cardiology, dermatology, pain management, and rare diseases. The majority had participated in Phase I (over 20%), II (14%), or III (17%) trials, with Phase IV being less common (8%).


Key findings from the survey:


  1. How Patients Access Clinical Trials:
  • Barriers: Major obstacles to trial participation included unclear communication or lack of information about the trial, long travel distances or time requirements, and difficulty finding suitable trials.
  • Facilitating Access: Most respondents (64%) emphasized the need for more digital technologies (e.g., wearables, televisits), shorter travel distances, and greater empathy from staff to improve access to trials.
  • Patient Recruitment: More than half of the respondents believed they would learn about trials through their doctor’s office or patient groups rather than digital channels.


  1. Communication, On-site Visits, and Travel During Trials:
  • Travel Distance and Visits Frequency: Patients showed higher tolerance for longer journeys if on-site visits were less frequent. Conversely, more frequent visits led to a preference for shorter travel times.
  • Frequency of Feedback: Most preferred monthly feedback from on-site physicians regarding their health status (70%).
  • Patients’ Values: “Consistent Contact Persons”, participation flexibility, and empathy from healthcare professionals were ranked highly by patients as essential factors in trials.
  • Specific Elements in a Trial: Patients highlighted the importance of providing more information to staff, reducing travel time and costs, and receiving special attention from trial staff.


  1. Patient Openness Towards Digital Technologies:
  • Usage and Preferences: While many patients had not used digital technologies in trials, there was significant interest in tools like electronic Patient-Reported Outcomes (ePRO), electronic health records (EHR), and wearables.
  • Preference for Digital Channels: Patients generally favored digital channels for receiving and sending medical information and expressed willingness to use them more frequently than face-to-face interactions.


  1. Looking Forward:
  • Willingness to Participate: More than 80% of survey participants with trial experience expressed willingness to participate in future trials, citing reasons such as contributing to research and helping others with similar conditions.
  • Motivation: Patients emphasized the importance of addressing rare diseases and mental health and supporting vulnerable communities in future trials.


Dr. Tobias Kruse, Founder and CEO of Trials24, stated: “Our survey shows that significant barriers to trial participation include communication gaps, long travel times, difficulty finding suitable trials, and lack of empathy. Embracing digital technologies is crucial for more than half of the survey participants to enhance trial accessibility. Interestingly, while traditional sources of information like doctor’s offices and patient groups remain prominent, digital platforms appear underutilized, signaling an opportunity for online patient recruitment. Trials24 is equipped to support biopharmaceutical companies and CROs and foster patients’ flexible participation in clinical trials with our patient-centric digital awareness campaigns to accelerate patient recruitment timelines.”


Veronika Schweighart, Co-Founder and COO of Climedo, said: “This patient survey reveals three recurring themes: a favorable attitude towards digital technologies in trials, a desire for flexible participation from home or on-the-go and a critical need for empathy and sensitivity towards patients. For us, this indicates that the industry must shift towards more hybrid trial designs that leverage digital technologies to alleviate patient burden while maintaining human interaction to convey important information and listen to patient needs, e.g. in televisits. The fact that nearly half of the respondents have not used digital technologies in trials is surprising to us and suggests that sponsors and sites must meet patient expectations to optimize participation. Climedo stands ready to assist sponsors, CROs and sites in adopting hybrid clinical trial designs to improve outcomes and generate higher-quality data while saving valuable resources for all stakeholders. We look forward to discussing the results with our network.”


Download the full survey results here.


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About Trials24

Trials24 accelerates patient recruitment for clinical trials globally, helping CROs and biopharmaceutical companies find patients their sites can’t reach. Based in Munich, Germany, Trials24’s approach centers around Online Patient Recruitment and Patient-Reported Feasibility Studies to ensure the predictability of their campaign’s successes, timelines, and costs. Thanks to a triple-prequalification process for patients before referral, each patient is carefully screened for eligibility, and sites enroll 20 to 40% of Trials24’s referred patients. Trials24 consistently delivers 20-65% of all randomized patients in clinical trials and often shortens the study recruitment period by six months or more. Explore further:


About Climedo

Climedo offers a software platform for hybrid clinical trials and observational studies. Its easy-to-use, modular and secure solutions for data management include electronic data capture (EDC), ePRO, eCOA, and Telemedicine. This enables pharma and medtech companies to validate their medical innovations more efficiently in the post-market phase and to capture data in decentralized, real-world settings.

As a result, they accelerate studies, save costs, and improve data flow and quality, while fostering innovative trial designs. By connecting all stakeholders (industry partners, study sites, physicians and patients) in one cloud-based system, Climedo is revolutionizing clinical research and making trials more accessible and patient centric.

Learn more: