Patient Recruitment the Biggest Problem in Clinical Research - but Big Data can Help

Share Article

A report from Tudor Reilly Health says patient recruitment has become the biggest global problem in clinical research, but help from big data is already at hand.

Report cover showing US epatient hot spots

Clinical trial recruitment in the age of the epatient

Patient recruitment is now a huge problem for trial sponsors, but these findings show that big data can help.

Patient recruitment has become the biggest global problem in clinical research, according to a report from Tudor Reilly Health, but the availability of big data now offers a step-change in the way patients are recruited.

The report, Clinical trial recruitment in the age of the epatient*, published today in an updated summary version for 2014, looks at three therapy areas – schizophrenia, atopic dermatitis and non-small cell lung cancer – and identifies hot spots of online activity at state and city level in the US.

“The results highlight major and often surprising discrepancies between where clinical trial sites are planned or up-and-running and where prospective trial participants may live,” said the report’s co-author, Peter Coë.

“Patient recruitment is now a huge problem for trial sponsors," he said "but these findings show that big data can help – by informing decisions on the effective placement of clinical trials and on geographical targeting of trial advertising.”

The data is harnessed using Tudor Reilly Health’s platform, ePatient Insights™, based on a sophisticated algorithm that layers both public and privately-available data. The data create geographical hot spots that indicate where the biggest patient populations with a particular condition may be located.

“The use of big data to inform important decisions is now commonplace in business but rarely used to inform clinical trial planning,” said Julie Walters, founder and managing director of Tudor Reilly Health. “And yet, with ever-increasing numbers of patients creating, sharing and searching for health information online, ignoring the applications of big data is a missed opportunity.”

The launch of the ePatient Insights™ platform follows a recent survey by the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), which found that almost half (46%) of respondents received information about clinical trials from the internet compared with just 20% receiving this information from a primary physician and 20% from a specialty care physician.

The 2014 version of the report can be purchased directly from Tudor Reilly Health at, from GBP £395 or US $650 for a single-user license.

*An epatient, or empowered – internet-savvy – patient, is anyone who actively looks for health information online.

About Tudor Reilly Health

Tudor Reilly Health is a digital health company building online communities in important areas of medical need. Our vision is for a healthier world based on shared experience and knowledge.

Our digital healthcare platform e-Patient Insights™ provides insights on patient populations for clinical trial sponsors and helps to connect patients and carers with new treatments in development.

For further information, please contact Peter Coë at Tudor Reilly Health. Tel: 020 7034 3200. Email: peter(dot)coe(at)tudor-reilly(dot)com

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Peter Coe

+44 (0)20 7034 3200
Email >
Tudor Reilly Health

Visit website