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International Clinical Trials

Patient Recruitment in the Digital Age

It is estimated that 4.4 billion people globally use the internet and another 3.5 billion people are engaged on a social media platform (1). On Facebook alone, 2.4 billion monthly active users engage with each other across thousands of online communities (2). People use the internet and social media to interact with family and friends, catch up on the latest news, and connect with people who have the same interests; more importantly, people use the internet to search for health-related information.

More than 80% of social media users seek health-related information, and 40% say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health (according to Mediabistro). These people are looking for this specifically, giving recruiters an opportunity they didn’t have before. Instead of pushing out information to everyone on TV, they can target people searching for it. Online seekers are not just millennials or young people; they range in all age groups. The previously held belief that older patients do not search online has been proven incorrect time and again. In fact, the 65-plus age group is the fastest growing population to adopt online platforms, and a recent AARP poll of 1,509 US adults showed that 52% of people between the ages of 50-64 had Facebook pages (3).

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About the authors

Miaesha Campbell, Director, Patient Recruitment, oversees the global patient recruitment department at Medpace and leads her team to drive patient recruitment and retention solutions for clinical trials. Miaesha graduated from California State University at Dominquez Hills in May 2002, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Minor in Communications. Her early career was spent in public relations, and she was recruited to support the marketing of clinical trial programmes in 2007.

Amanda Siegert is a Senior Manager of Patient Recruitment at Medpace. She has been working in research for 14 years, the last 10 specialising in patient recruitment. Amanda graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Social-Cultural Anthropology. She started her career in research at Inamed Aesthetics and Allergan working in regulatory and as a CRA. Amanda found her niche in patient recruitment, combining her love for people and culture with her research experience. She worked at MMG for 8 years focusing on grass roots community outreach and physician networking tactics for patient recruitment before moving to Medpace.

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