Sep 1, 2011

Social Media recruitment for clinical trials

In rare diseases, one often finds active social media communities of patients and caregivers hungry for information. These communities exist for sharing disease state information, offering support, and occasionally advice on treatment.

Another tremendous application can be recruitment for clinical trials. This is the story of a a recent Mayo Clinic study within cardiology. A team of cardiologists led by Sharonne Hayes, M.D., has contacted survivors of spontaneous coronary artery dissection, also known as SCAD, a poorly understood heart condition that affects just a few thousand Americans every year.

The patient community is within a patient network called WomenHeart

The finding was that for this pilot clinical trial study, the number of patients needed was exceeded within a week; the overflow patients are eligible for a second round, expanded trial.

This is a great example of Acquisition for clinical trials, where social media can be a viable alternative, or complement, to paid media or other event recruitment.