The Universal Language of Play: Improving Patient Engagement and Retention by Personalized Care in Pediatric Clinical Research

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Patient Recruitment & Retention,
  • Friday, September 22, 2023

Interested in understanding how healthcare professionals could improve their pediatric patient engagement and retention? Play could be the answer.

Clinical trials are essential for advancing medical research, but they can be overwhelming, particularly for children and their families. Over the past decade, the number of procedures performed in a clinical trial has increased by 59 percent, further increasing the psychological burden on families. Innovations designed to support engagement and retention in trials are typically focused on adults and are not tailored for children.

Little Journey is on a mission to support all children to better health through personalized care. Every child is unique with different needs, concerns and ways of thinking; as such, the support provided to children must reflect these differences. In addition, for those participating in a clinical trial, the experience can span a number of years, include multiple procedures and visits to hospitals and involve continuous communication with hospitals.

Through the LEGO Foundation: Play for All accelerator, Little Journey has been working to enhance the emotional well-being support provided to children and their families using Learning through Play and Design for all principles. Little Journey has developed the innovative “A Little About Me” module that uses play to better understand each family’s needs, communication preferences and emotional support requirements. This is then shared to empower the clinical and research teams to provide more tailored support to improve the trial experience, engagement and retention.

Register for this webinar to hear from a number of subject matter experts on how to understand and unlock the power of play and engage children and their families in pediatric clinical trials. Discover how the “A Little About Me” feature was created to provide a more holistic understanding of participants and how best to support them. Through personalized care, trust can be built, alleviate anxiety and enhance overall participant engagement.

Let’s create a future where clinical trials are less burdensome and more rewarding, ensuring the well-being and engagement of every participant.


Dr. Chris Evans, Little Journey

Dr. Chris Evans, CEO & Co-Founder, Little Journey

Founder and CEO at Little Journey Ltd, NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow and NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow. His company’s aim is to deliver personalized end-to-end psychological preparation and support to families visiting hospital for a procedure, from the comfort and safety of their own home. Little Journey is currently working with the LEGO foundation to create a playful, co-designed solution that will enable healthcare organizations to learn about the needs, preferences and health behaviors of children before they come to hospital. By background, Chris is an anaesthetic doctor and expert in children’s peri-operative anxiety, currently completing a PhD at UCL exploring the impact of design, technology and innovation on children’s anxiety before surgery.

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Amir Lahav, Pharma & Medtech

Amir Lahav, ScD, Digital Health Innovation Advisor for Pharma & Medtech

Amir Lahav is a Digital Health Advisor and a Board Member who helps Pharma and Medtech companies develop and implement innovative solutions in clinical research and medicine. He sits on the advisory board of multiple startups and holds strategic consulting roles with pharmaceutical companies.

Amir brings over 20 years of clinical experience in the biotech and healthcare industries. He leverages his expertise in medical devices, wearable technology, AI and data intelligence to digitize disease monitoring and enable the detection of various diseases much earlier than is currently possible within the conventional healthcare system.

Amir’s mission and goals are to go beyond the pill, make home the new clinic, automate medicine with AI, accelerate personalized therapies, improve patient care and create a path for better patient experience using digital technology.

During his time at Pfizer, Amir led the development of digital solutions for gene therapy trials, primarily in rare diseases. Prior to pharma, Amir was a PI on numerous clinical trials as a Neurology Faculty and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

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Dr. Solomon Kamal-Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Dr. Solomon Kamal-Uddin, MBBS MRCPCH BMedSci, Dual Certificate Paediatric Consultant and Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Dr. Solomon Kamal-Uddin has senior cross-sector experience in healthcare, education, the pharmaceutical industry and patient organizations. He is passionate about using his extensive experience to benefit teams looking for novel efficient solutions to healthcare hurdles; helping to deliver projects for patient communities and the organizations that serve them. Most importantly, he is the proud father of 3 girls, the youngest of whom has a rare disease.

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Leanne West,Pediatric Innovation Catalyst Global Center for Medical Innovation

Leanne West, Innovation Catalyst, Patient Advocate, Connector, Chief Engineer Pediatric Technology Georgia Tech, President International Children's Advisory Network, Pediatric Innovation Catalyst Global Center for Medical Innovation

Bio coming soon.

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Begonya Nafria Escalera, Sant Joan de Déu Chidren’s Hospital (Spain)

Begonya Nafria Escalera, Patient Engagement in Research Coordinator at Sant Joan de Déu Chidren’s Hospital (Spain)

Begonya has vast experience in the field of the involvement of patients and families in research initiatives. She has also a personal story as a caregiver and patient advocate because her sister is a young adult with cerebral palsy. Her areas of expertise are focused in pediatric patients involvement in research and specifically in the field of clinical trials. She is currently a PhD student in the patient involvement in paediatrics field. She is also a fellow of EUPATI (fist cohort), coordinate of eYPAGnet (European Young Patients Advisory Group Network – Coordinator at Kids Barcelona (YPAG of Sant Joan de Déu Children’s Hospital-, member of Children’s Medicines Working Party of EFPGCP, volunteer member of the Editorial Board of Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), member of the Patients and Families working group of EnprEMA (European Network of Paediatric Research of EMA). And coordinator of the cross-cutting theme of patients involvement in Conect4Children project (pan-European paediatric clinical trials network). The main aim of all the activities led or participated by Begonya is to achieve a better quality of life for the pediatric patients thanks to research and new therapies.

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Natalie Page, IQVIA

Natalie Page, Global Strategy and Development Lead – Clinical Trial Educators at IQVIA

Natalie has 19 years of experience in healthcare communications encompassing PR and Medical Communications. Currently, Natalie is working in the clinical trials space, specialising in Patient Recruitment and Site Engagement Strategies as a lead in the Clinical Trial Educator team. Natalie has a passion for pediatric and respiratory medicine, working alongside the pediatric centre of excellence at IQVIA to develop new content assets and tools to enhance these critical fields.

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Who Should Attend?

This webinar will appeal to professionals working in the following fields:

  • Pharma companies
  • Clinical trial experts
  • Pediatric experts
  • Contract research organizations (CROs)
  • Research Nurses
  • Innovation Leads
  • Patient Experience Leads
  • Patient Advocates

What You Will Learn

Attendees will gain insights on:

  • How innovation is paving the way for improved pediatric trials
  • The importance of the patient voice in research and clinical trials and hearing stories from the patient
  • A neurodivergent parent perspective on the importance of empowering children and families using learning through play in clinical settings
  • The benefits of integrating play specialists into clinical trials to reduce anxiety and increase the likelihood of enrolment
  • How playful and meaningful co-creation with neurodivergent children can create groundbreaking new digital tools to support the trial

Xtalks Partner

Little Journey

Little Journey is a digital eSupport platform that psychologically prepares, informs and supports children and families before, during and after healthcare procedures, all from the comfort and safety of their own home. Designed to reduce healthcare-induced anxiety, the Little Journey platform has been co-created with children, families and healthcare staff to provide end-to-end support throughout each hospital journey. The Little Journey smartphone app delivers interactive and engaging content tailored to a child’s age, procedure type and hospital. An accompanying Little Journey web portal, accessed by healthcare staff, enables organizations to configure the app content, building virtual patient pathways and editing key information in near real time.

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