Photo by gratisography.com
The Lilly Clinical Open Innovation (LCOI) blog, like much of the work we do in innovation, started as a thoughtful experiment. We believed that a blog would provide a great opportunity to openly explore clinical innovation topics and drive discussions around improving the patient experience. So in March of 2012, we launched the LCOI blog with the publication of our first post.
What was initially an experiment has turned into a wonderful and rewarding success! Since that first blog post over three years ago, we’ve published over 210 additional posts, while continuing to learn and evolve along the way. We’ve had many fantastic discussions with you, our audience, about how to improve the clinical trial experience for patients, meanwhile speeding innovation and scientific discovery. And we’re just getting started.
According to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide each year. And that number is set to rise. To address the cancer epidemic, the UICC organizes World Cancer Day on February 4 of each year. The day was created “to raise awareness about the disease and to develop practical strategies to address the cancer burden.”
The 2015 World Cancer Day tagline is “Not Beyond Us,” which is intended to highlight that solutions to cancer care are within reach. Four key areas of focus support this theme. For each of the four areas, UICC defines targets to achieve by the year 2025 and the challenge to achieving these targets. UICC also describes how we can overcome the challenge to meeting their targets for each focus area. Learn more about each of the focus areas here:
Click to view U.S map illustrating cancer incidence and locations of enrolling cancer clinical trials.
The following post is by Nicole Sheetz, Advisor of Clinical Development Innovation and Innovation Adoption at Eli Lilly and Company. Nicole is a 15-year pharmaceutical industry professional with broad clinical development experience. She has held leadership positions in clinical project management, data sciences, scientific communications, data disclosure, clinical operations, and competitor intelligence. Nicole currently leads clinical development innovation programs that span various functions, and she is specifically responsible for implementation of innovation projects that are ready for global production and scale-up at Lilly.
I’ve been working in and around clinical trials for most of my career, and I’ve learned that all voices – the patient, the site, and the sponsor – are vital when trying to improve how we conduct research.
Patients’ views are invaluable, as they help us to understand what makes participation in trials important and feasible for them. Clinical research site professionals (investigators, site directors, study coordinators, and pharmacists) are also critical, and they play a very important role in shaping the patients’ clinical trial experience. They serve as the primary bridge between the sponsor’s goals for a trial, the healthcare provider’s care for the patient, and the patient’s needs and wishes. As a result, site professionals are able to share plenty of great insights based on their day-to-day experiences interacting with patients and conducting trials.
I work on Lilly’s Clinical Development Innovation team, and we are focused on reducing the amount of time it takes to bring innovative medicines to patients while maintaining the highest standards of patient safety, ethical practice, and data quality. We know that we cannot reach this goal alone; we need input from the people involved in all facets of the clinical trial process in order to understand what we can improve upon and how. Hearing feedback and suggestions for improvement from site professionals who are “on the ground” every day will surely help us to develop the kinds of solutions that will make a real difference for patients and for the entire clinical development process.
According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 58 percent of adults in the U.S. own a smart phone. This is up from only 35 percent in 2011. As more and more people begin carrying these powerful devices with them at all times, it makes sense to take a look at ways they can help to lessen some of the burden that patients carry when participating in a clinical trial.
They are many ways that apps can provide benefits to patients, healthcare providers and researchers. They can help make it easier for patients to search for and find trials that fit their needs. Once a patient enrolls in a trial, they can help him or her manage their appointments, their treatment schedules and other logistical concerns. They can also help researchers collect real-time information from trial participants without requiring them to travel to the research site to fill out pencil-and-paper surveys.