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Improving Clinical Trial Experience to Boost Patient Participation

The Challenge

Clinical trials are the lifeblood of the pharmaceutical industry. They ensure continued medical innovations and a robust product pipeline. However, clinical trials are considered statistically valid only if patients participate voluntarily and in large enough numbers. A major pharmaceutical company observed a steady decline in patient participation in its clinical trials. The company asked Cognizant to help find the reasons behind the decline and improve its clinical trial experience for patients.

Our Approach

Idea Couture, Cognizant's digital innovation, strategy and design firm, interviewed two groups of patients—those who had participated in clinical trials before and those who had not—to identify the barriers to clinical trial enrollment. Our research revealed that patients can be motivated to join clinical trials if they and their families are more informed and feel respected throughout the process. With this insight in mind, we prepared a series of patient journey maps to determine the factors that affect the decision-making of patients and caregivers.

Based on our findings, we redesigned the company’s Patients at Heart program—a communication portal for connecting medical teams with patients and their families. The program now consists of an interactive portal with relevant information, answers to patient’s Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs), and digital tools to support patients in various situations. We also developed the Patient Journey Box—a physical onboarding kit for trial participants—that includes related information, greater access to trial results and tools for an improved trial experience.

Patient-Centricity Is Improved by Empathetic Treatment of Patients and Their Support Networks

As a result of our Patients at Heart program redesign, the pharmaceutical company has been recognized for its patient website and digital innovation. The program has also helped boost the com­pany’s reputation. PatientView recently ranked the company first and second in integrity and corporate reputation, respectively.



patient recruitment and retention for clinical trials


support to patients in the form of helpful digital tools


patient-centricity in the clinical trial process