How Your Voice and Experience in Clinical Trials Advances Medicine
There are few words that can come close to describing the tremendous progress made in advancing medicine over the last century. New therapies are constantly being researched to provide people, just like you and me, with the care and cures they need. However, while clinical research is feverishly being conducted in laboratories, scientists and researchers need help to test these new therapies; they need you.
Without you, clinical research does not exist. Every trial requires a certain number of committed participants to gather and disseminate information about the new therapy being studied. This information compiles the evidence, or lack of evidence, that the therapy could improve a symptom, a disease, a life. However, if this number of participants isn’t met, the therapy may never be available to the public, let alone studied to determine the many ways it could help us.
So how can you advance medicine?
Have you bought an item from Amazon or any major online shopping center? Have you referred to the “stars” to help you determine whether or not a product is worth purchasing, or if the seller is trustworthy? Dimensional Research, a marketing research agency, claims that 90% of consumers online believe their purchasing choices are impacted by reviews. If society didn’t believe that ratings make a difference, successful companies such as Yelp and TripAdvisor wouldn’t exist. This concept isn’t just for products or for seeking the perfect hotel, it carries over into the clinical research arena.
The clinical research industry is quickly joining the trend of making customer centricity the priority in conducting business. This shift in focus is giving participants the ability to heavily influence change in the clinical research arena. TrialScout, an innovative rating system providing a sense of community through user experiences and reviews, offers participants the opportunity to rate their clinical trial experience. Their reviews are seen by all visitors of the site’s webpage, fellow participants, scientists, and researchers alike.
In the same way that a product review encourages others to buy the product, your rating and your experience in a clinical trial may encourage others to volunteer for a clinical trial. Potential participants can now educate themselves and obtain new insights through your ratings that can leave them empowered to make a more informed decision regarding clinical trial participation. Just like that, you’ve advanced medicine. As we previously mentioned, without participants, there would be no clinical research. Likewise, without clinical research there would be no advancements.
Not only do the ratings you provide enlighten others and/or encourage them to participate, but it also shares your story with the world. For the longest time there was no way to get the “inside scoop” on the clinical trial participant’s experience. The participants’ thoughts and perspectives were often unheard in the halls of the research facility. There was no platform available other than a face-to-face conversation.
Whether your experience was positive or negative, there is always something more to be learned. TrialScout allows you to hold the mirror up to the facility at which you participated in research, and challenge them to improve the participant experience. Maybe your interactions with clinical research have been less than desirable, and you’d never recommend participating in a clinical trial to anyone. But what if because of your willingness to share that experience, the facility you reviewed made positive changes and the reason your experience was negative was rectified? Now, because of your courage, your voice, and your willingness to share your story with others, the next participant may have a more positive experience.
Never underestimate the power of your voice and your experiences. One more volunteer participating in a clinical trial today because of your rating, advances medicine in a way that can save a life tomorrow. Share your experience today!
Written by Rose Holub
Rose Holub is the Regulatory Compliance Manager at Circuit Clinical. When she is not blogging, Rose oversees all regulatory and compliance aspects of the company as related to clinical research. After graduating from Arizona State University, where she earned her master’s degree in Clinical Research Management, her career flourished as she created the compliance department at Circuit. In her free time, she enjoys putting together 1,000-piece puzzles, spending time with friends and family, and experiencing new craft beers and cider.