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Patient engagement and community outreach may be hot topics in today’s clinical trial landscape, but they aren’t new ideas. Researchers and patient advocacy groups have focused on including patients and volunteers in study design and data reporting for many years. What’s new is the vital role technology plays in engagement as decentralized clinical trials become more popular.

Patient engagement simply means patients working with their health care providers to make decisions about their health. In the context of clinical trials, this could mean participants giving advice on trial designs or tracking their own data using wearable devices and mobile applications.


Technology can increase engagement by allowing participants to join trials and submit data from their doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and even their homes. But as companies and organizations embrace technology to increase patient engagement, it’s important not to forget about the power of human connection between patients and clinical trial staff.

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