Why is a patient-centric approach to the clinical trial process so important, and how can data help?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll already be familiar with the concept of clinical trials and how the use of artificial intelligence benefits them. But why is putting the patient at the center of the process so important, and how can data analytics help?

When it comes to research and development within the healthcare industry, the focus has for a long time been the end product, drug, or therapy. Biotech companies are eager to create the most effective drug when it comes to tackling a specific disease – which makes perfect sense. However, many of these companies are perhaps not taking valuable patient opinions into consideration as fully as they could – something that can make or break a new treatment or medication.

By putting the patient at the centre of all that they do, biotech companies are reimagining what the future of healthcare could be. Adopting a solutions-oriented approach that acknowledges and explores patient needs, preferences and experiences dramatically increases the likelihood of a treatment becoming a success: it might be the best drug in the world, but if pharma companies don’t fully acknowledge patient feedback and opinions, the treatment might not perform as well as initially hoped.

When it comes to certain drugs, there are a lot of options on the market. If a patient doesn’t respond well to a particular medication – or simply has a bad experience with some of the side effects – there’s a strong possibility they’ll switch to another brand. Throughout the course of the clinical trial process, biotech companies will experiment with a number of different ingredients and concentrations in order to find the perfect balance. However, many researchers tend not to focus much on one of the most critical aspects of this process: patient response.

Concentrating on the patient saves untold amounts of time, money and effort, and streamlines the clinical trial process into a more responsible, compassionate endeavour. The opinions, thoughts and concerns of patients matter, and the likelihood of a drug or treatment being successful in the long-term depends on how consumers feel about it. Using data analytics and natural language processing throughout the clinical trial process gives research and development teams valuable insights into how patients are responding to their drug: what they like, what they don’t like, and the changes they’d like to see in their treatment.

It can be difficult knowing where to start when implementing data analytics into the clinical trial process – not an unreasonable response considering the potential of artificial intelligence in the drug development industry! By refocusing the lens to concentrate on the patient is a good place to start, and listening to what they have to say will have untold benefits for any research and development team.

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