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How do you ensure your communication will excite and interest your patients

Technology trend engagement

Dr Mark Hooper | 09th August 2016

Dr. Mark Hooper's opinion article on how to keep your patients interested and on board through the full clinical study

Most trials now have patients of all ages in many countries, who expect to have all the information available in a range of formats, in hard copy and electronically on their smartphones and tablets. Consequently, multi-media content in your patients’ own languages is a must for successful clinical trial communication. 

So what is the best way to keep a group of 10 to 16 year old patients engaged throughout a two year clinical trial? Ask them to fill in a paper diary written in English? Any parents of teenagers reading this will probably empathise with the regular challenge of getting kids to do their homework in their school books rather than spend their evenings chatting with their mates online and playing the likes of Minecraft on their games consoles. A recent brilliant solution was to use a computer game to gather the feedback from the teenage patients, with more levels released on continued patient engagement. The compliance levels were massively improved. 

Those in the marketing world are breaking down the traditional lines of communication – there is no longer a division between digital and hard copy marketing, just a spectrum of relevant media with the chosen means of contact tailored to the target audience. The same trends for engagement can be followed by those in the clinical trials industry when communicating with patients.   

As well as engaging with patients using media they feel comfortable with, it makes perfect sense to partner this approach with the translation of clinical material into languages that patients understand.   

There are challenges involved in translating multimedia files and software apps, including separating the translatable text from the background coding, transcription, dubbing, layout editing and typesetting. Choosing a translation expert with the tools and expertise to manage these technical challenges is the first step to successful patient engagement. 

Multi-lingual, multimedia content is essential for successful clinical trial communication. Overcoming the associated challenges in expanding your technical and linguistic capabilities is well worth the effort.