Patient Support Services to Facilitate Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials
Personalized Patient Support Services to Facilitate Alzheimer's Clinical Trials
Over 6.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to increase by 13 million in 2050. These numbers are daunting and will only continue to grow with time.
Earlier this month, Clincierge’s CEO Scott Gray participated in an interview with MedicalResearch.com to discuss how personalized patient support services can help to improve patient experiences and clinical trial performance, particularly among Alzheimer’s patient populations.
Participating in a trial is never easy, it becomes more complex when a patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Often patients with Alzheimer’s are fortunate to have a caregiver to assist them with daily tasks. In 2020 alone, the Alzheimer’s Association reported that caregivers provided an estimated 15.3 billion hours of care to patients. Learn more about the specific benefits of patient support services for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers below.
MedicalResearch.com: How has your team overcome the unique challenges of working with Alzheimer’s patients, including recruitment and retention?
Scott Gray: Recruitment and retention do indeed become increasingly difficult in Alzheimer’s clinical trials.
Recently, Clincierge managed the patient logistics for Biogen’s clinical trial which led to a new drug for treating Alzheimer’s. As we worked with the Biogen team to manage patient logistics, we also developed a greater understanding of the urgency to develop and deliver treatments for Alzheimer’s, which impacts an estimated 6.2 million older Americans age 65.
Because most Alzheimer’s patients are over the age of 65, they face unique challenges to clinical trial participation. For example, all Alzheimer’s trials require the participation of a study partner to facilitate participation, reporting, and monitoring during the trial. The study partner must accompany the patient to site visits and make regular reports on the patient’s cognitive and functional abilities for the duration of the study, which can last for several years.
This is where our patient support services are especially instrumental in the success of a trial. We implement a proactive strategy for managing the particular challenges of the Alzheimer’s patient population. The services we offer for all trials are especially important in accommodating the particular needs of Alzheimer’s patients:
A single, dedicated coordinator for one-on-one support of each patient
Appointment scheduling and management, especially important for those who aren’t tech-savvy
Prepaid travel arrangements
Travel logistics that take the needs of an older population into consideration, such as arranging car trips over rail or air and remembering to plan convenient and safe breaks during long car rides
In addition, our coordinators establish ongoing relationships with patients, their caregivers, and site staff, which establishes a sense of trust and assurance in the process. Knowing they will be supported as they move through the trial process encourages both patients and caregivers to enroll while ongoing support enables long-term participation.