This is thefirst post of a series about features and functionalities of the Allyfe platform.
Why have we, the Allyfe team, decided to tackle these various topics?
We view it as a way to pay tribute to our collaborators, but also to the sponsors, CROs, investigators and even patients we have had numerous conversations with. They gave us valuable information on what their priorities and pain points are, on how they function based on shared values. We have been working hard to materialize their wishes and concerns through our platform. We share a common vision of how public health should be managed and how optimized clinical trials would serve it. So, if we have not talked yet, take it as food for thought and do not hesitate to comment, suggest, elaborate….
The first functionality we would like to bring to light is our interactive capabilities: messaging and video call. They are all about humanized technology, a concept developed in an earlier post by our CEO. It is also about using technology to boost a humane approach to clinical trials, but also maintaining a human touch in any technological endeavor.
Within our platform, patients, investigators and sponsors have the possibility to exchange messages and have remote meetings in a perfectly secure environment.
The three key concepts for our communication-centered approach are:
userfriendliness: communication channels need to be easy and intuitive;
integration: clinical trials actors should not have to go back and forth to their mailing system, Zoom, Google Meet or other videocall app to communicate with other actors, whether it is sponsors and investigators exchanging about enrollment target dates, or investigators and patients about informed consent;
security: communication should happen freely, without any worry about potential breaches of privacy.
How does that benefit….
Participating in a clinical trial can be frightening to the layman: the procedures, the rules, the modus operandi are all terra incognita. But being able to talk with the research team, ask questions, express concerns or doubts, even see a doctor in the comfort of one’s own home contributes to a more serene approach to the whole process. The patient feels he is part of the clinical trial and totally committed to it.
It is perfectly clear to us that one of the main constraints for the investigator is time. Whatever can save time is welcome. Being able to schedule and hold a remote meeting in a few clicks does save time.
Another constraint is patient dropout: spending time enrolling a patient and losing him or her in the middle of the process is, again, a gigantic waste of time. Interactive capabilities can help there too: answering questions, seeing the patient can help the investigator detect signs of discouragement and frustration and take effective counteraction (more regular contacts, more information, more signs of appreciation,….). Eventually, these regular exchanges can induce a cultural paradigm shift for the investigator, who is progressively considering the patient not as a subject, but as a clinical trial partner.
We will talk in due time about more specific tools improving the dialogue between sponsors and research sites but messaging and videocall are and remain a core component of an optimal coordination between sponsors and sites. A simultaneous, frequent and homogeneous communication coming from sponsors and dealing about trial practicalities and enrollment results is crucial to a clinical trial’s efficiency. So is a regular and smooth feedback from all research sites. It allows for quick corrective measures and benchmarking. The sponsors we have talked to particularly appreciate this feature: they are even pushing for the development of three-way conversations.
Powerful communication channels can be a differentiating factor for CROs. It can offer a practical way to save time, engage patients and improve coordination for sponsors. The CRO which offers this possibility demonstrates that it perfectly understands all stakeholders’problem areas and has applied concrete troubleshooting….
Next,appointment scheduling features…..