Participant Engagement and Realities in Decentralized Clinical Trials

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Patient Recruitment & Retention,
  • Monday, June 12, 2023

Today’s clinical trial landscape offers an unprecedented range of decentralized and hybrid options, including home health and community-based options. Digital solutions have been hailed as the path toward more inclusive trials yet many still struggle to recruit representative patient populations, despite clear regulatory guidance. How can the feedback from participants in recent clinical trials help industry refine its decentralized clinical trial (DCT) approach to be even more inclusive and responsive to patient preferences? How can industry work more collaboratively with advocates who possess distinct lines of site into their communities’ needs and experiences around trial participation? In this webinar, the featured speakers will explore solutions to maximizing participant engagement in DCTs.

The Patient Choice Centered Research Initiative (PCCRI) asked recent clinical trial participants across a range of patient communities to reflect on their satisfaction with the operational aspects of their trial experience through a 50-question survey. PCCRI then collaborated with five patient advocacy groups with distinct patient population needs to analyze the findings alongside what they’ve heard from their own communities to turn insights into actionable, feasible DCT strategies that align to patient choice.

This webinar will address how insights from this initiative and other patient-focused efforts can help to close geographic and digital health literacy gaps, decrease trial-related financial toxicities, improve participant engagement and minimize burden for sites and patients.

Register today and learn how incorporating patient insights and preferences into decentralized clinical trials can improve inclusivity and increase participant engagement.


Keri McDonough, Syneos Health

Keri McDonough, Head, Patient Voice Consortium, Vice President, Medical & Scientific Strategy, Syneos Health

Keri McDonough has dedicated her career to sourcing, elevating and integrating patient perspectives into drug development and commercialization. Through dynamic advocacy and community relations and patient insights mining and application, Keri strives to reduce barriers and biases that limit patient-focused innovation and the ability for individuals to achieve positive and personalized health outcomes. She’s worked in partnership with numerous large and small biopharmaceutical companies across advocacy, R&D and commercial initiatives. She invests her time heavily in coaching her colleagues and customers.

In 2021, Keri established the Syneos Health Patient Voice Consortium, a function-agnostic enterprise-wide hub that coalesces and maximizes the expertise, resources and relationships needed to ensure early, often and strategic integration of patient needs and perspectives. This hub provides a forum for pressure-testing, problem-solving and co-creating with colleagues, customers and most importantly, with patients. The Patient Voice Consortium aims to address disparities in care and representation, recognizing that engaging and learning from historically marginalized voices is paramount to advancing representative research and inclusive care.

Keri’s roots in healthcare began while leading the communications and publications efforts of the National Alliance for Mental Illness in NYC. She holds a BA in sociology from Tulane University and a MA from University of Oregon’s School of Journalism with a focus on how global advocacy movements are helped and hindered by emerging technology. She serves on the board of the Emotional PPE Project.

Message Presenter
Nicole Hemmenway, CEO, US Pain Foundation

Nicole Hemmenway, CEO, US Pain Foundation

Nicole Hemmenway currently serves as CEO of the US Pain Foundation. A tireless advocate for people with chronic pain, she strongly believes in the power of storytelling to create change. She previously directed the INvisible Project, an online and print magazine that highlights the experiences of people living with pain, for the organization. Nicole is also an author and motivational speaker. Her book, No, It Is NOT in My Head: The Journey of a Chronic Pain Survivor from Wheelchair to Marathon, details her struggles and triumphs in dealing with complex regional pain syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder. In September 2015, Nicole was featured in a campaign in USA Today in recognition of her role as an advocate for those living with chronic pain; and in 2017, she received the Unsung Hero Award for her work in the pain community.

Message Presenter
Michelle Ouellett, Syneos Health

Michelle M. Ouellette, Associate Director, Site & Patient Experience, Syneos Health

Michelle Ouellette is dedicated to creating patient partnerships for clinical development. She leads advocacy, diversity and community outreach programming as a key component of patient engagement. She builds mutually beneficial relationships between sponsors and advocacy organizations with the goal of encouraging patients to take a proactive role in clinical research. She has also established a cross-functional Patient Partnerships Network composed of advocacy experts across Syneos Health.

Michelle has 15+ years of experience in health marketing communications including pharmaceuticals, spanning therapeutic areas and in both pre- and post-marketing. Prior to Syneos Health she worked at Edelman, a top public relations and marketing consultancy firm.

Michelle serves on the board of the White Coats Foundation, a not for profit global organization that aims to raise awareness about the role of clinical trials in advancing medical science and healthcare.

Message Presenter
Sarah Gillespie, Syneos Health

Sarah Gillespie, Associate Director, Decentralized Clinical Trials, Syneos Health

Sarah Gillespie has 14 years of experience in clinical trial operations and project management, specializing in real world and late phase research. Since 2019, Sarah has utilized her clinical research background to develop subject-matter expertise in decentralized research and digital health technologies. She has focused on the development of company initiatives to improve the implementation of decentralized strategies and supported sponsors and project teams to drive change management, reduce site and patient burden and promote diversity and inclusivity.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

Clinical and commercial customers responsible for decision-making related to decentralized clinical trial options across a range of Transmission Assessment Surveys (TAS)

What You Will Learn

Attendees will learn:

  • Why not all technology solutions are interchangeable for decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) and how patient-voice data can help drug developers drive more strategic, fit-for-patient solutions/decisions in clinical trials
  • Outcomes of new research on patient impact in decentralized trials and how to optimize DCTs for better outcomes
  • Why it is important to seek feedback from patients before making strategic operations decisions for clinical trials and to continue to elicit feedback throughout the process

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Syneos Health®

Syneos Health® (Nasdaq:SYNH) is a leading integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization built to accelerate customer success. We translate unique clinical, medical affairs and commercial insights into outcomes to address modern market realities.

Together we share insights, use the latest technologies and apply advanced business practices to speed our customers’ delivery of important therapies to patients. We support a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

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