The new Digital Patient unit builds on the clinical research organization’s existing services for clinical trial recruitment and brings together two of Quintiles’ patient-facing online sites: MediGuard.org and ClinicalResearch.com. As the Durham, North Carolina-based pharmaceutical services company expands those properties, it will also expand its use of social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook along with traditional email to connect with individuals seeking opportunities to participate in clinical trials.
“We’ve had patient recruitment services before but we haven’t had a specifically digital approach,” company spokesman Phil Bridges said.
MediGuard.org, launched by Quintiles in 2007, is a drug-monitoring service that provides its 2.5 million registered users updates on side effects, warnings or interactions for medications. ClinicalResearch.com offers a listing of all clinical trials that are being conducted. The site, launched in 2009, now has 165,000 registered users who receive email and monthly electronic newsletters about clinical trials. Both sites are free and are opt-in. Patients can identify what information they receive, specific to therapeutic area and clinical trial location.
Some CROs also offer similar online listings of clinical trials. But these sites typically list only the trials they are working on. Bridges said that the CRO launched ClinicalResearch.com to broaden awareness of and participation in all clinical trials. The ClinicalResearch.com site does offer information that is already available on ClinicalTrials.gov. That site, maintained by the National Institutes of Health, also lists all available clinical trials. But Bridges said that the Quintiles site is intended to be more readable and patient friendly.
Bridges said that Quintiles will boost its digital outreach with a search engine optimization campaign to make the company visible to those who are actively searching for clinical research information. The company is also employing additional online marketing techniques.
The Digital Patient unit will be overseen by David Coman, senior vice president of corporate communication and patient recruitment at Quintiles. Coman explains the different approaches of the two Quintiles websites in this company-produced video: