Personalization views and data from DPharm 2019

October 21, 2019

We are pleased to share PERSONALIZATION remarks presented by Kate Hermans, chief business officer for 83bar. Kate presented this case study on patient empowerment at the 9th annual DPharm: Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials conference on September 18, 2019 in Boston, MA.


In the midst of every single clinical trial are individuals – people who are looking for that customer experience and that relationship. If we were able to actually deliver that confident engagement, that memorable customer experience for each and every participant in our clinical trials, wouldn’t we want to do that? Wouldn’t we want them to have that kind of experience?

In order to do that at the size of the clinical trials we have, we need to think about the concept of personalization at scale. In the United States, 97% of patients don’t know about clinical trials. They’ve never participated in one. They don’t know what to expect. What are they looking for from us?

This is data from a study done by DT Associates and Carenity. They went out and asked patients, “What do you expect from pharma?” The number one thing they were looking for is to be treated personally. They’re looking for that confidence, that interaction from us as a pharma industry.

What is that customer expectation? That customer expectation has been shaped by companies like these and others. Today, people, we, can request things, information, results, products, and they arrive at our door tomorrow. If you live in New York City, in an hour. They’re coming with personalization, they’re coming customized, they’re coming directly to me. These companies and others have shaped the expectations of the patients participating in our clinical trials. They’ve set a new standard. The standard is a level of customer experience that we really need to step back and think about, are we actually delivering what those customers are expecting, those patients are expecting of us with that interaction.

What are they expecting?
  • a navigated journey
  • education at every step of that patient journey
  • empathy. They’re coming into these clinical trials because they’re sick, because they have a disease that they really want to find a cure for, because they’ve tried other things and there’s really nothing else left for them.
  • someone to really be able to connect with them
  • And most importantly, they’re looking to become drivers in the seat of their own healthcare experience. They want to be the ones to say, “Yes, I want to participate. I want to be activated. I really want to arrive in this clinical trial and be able to move forward because I believe in it.”

But without the information that they need, or maybe not addressing that customer experience, that creates some barriers.

We at 83bar have had over several hundreds of campaigns, nearly a million of patient engagements over the course of the last five years. And we went back and mined our own data. We looked over a one-year period of time at our clinical trial patients, and we looked at what were some of those insights that we could gleam out of our own campaigns that might help us to improve the way in which we deliver campaigns for our clients going forward.

Insights from our data review with implications for personalization

I thought we would share some of those, in case they’re helpful for you.

  1. Rapid response time matters. What you’re seeing on this graph is from the moment a patient has finished that online survey step in the qualification process to the time they are contacted by, in our case, a nurse in our call center, how much time has elapsed? If they are contacted within seconds to minutes, those contact rates are about 30 to 40%. That means that 60% of those patients that came in through the top of the funnel, there are no longer available for the clinical trial. But you’re looking for that 30 to 40% contact rate. That’s super important.
  2. Speed of communication, every minute counts. This one is from the time of that contact to booking. From a booking standpoint, if you move quickly, then you will have a higher booking rate.
  3. You need to not only reach them on that first contact, but don’t give up if you didn’t reach them the first time. Because the ability to get those patients if you reach back out quickly, two, three, or four times, will really exponentially increase their inclusion in your trial.
  4. The longer the time from that first contact with that patient it takes to get that first office visit scheduled, the less likely they will show up. If you get them in there on day one, 50% of them show up. If you wait a month, this comes from real data, you’ve lost another 20% of them.

In closing, we all have individuals in our clinical trials. We have the ability, we have the technology to personalize the experience for these patients at scale.

When we do that, we’re going to expand the number of patients available for the clinical trials. We’ve already said this is critical. We’ll reduce time, we’ll reduce costs. And most important, we’ll get medicines to the right patients as quickly as possible.


For more details on how 83bar uses personalization at scale to accelerate clinical trial recruitment, contact us.