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Another Great Year in the Books for the Site Solutions Summit

by Melynda Geurts
Site Solutions Summit

“Better together” was the mantra of the 10th Annual Site Solutions Summit, hosted by the Society of Clinical Research Sites (SCRS).  The overarching goal of the Summit was to focus on the benefits of collaboration among all involved (SCRS represents over 2,400 sites across 40 countries).  The Summit kicked-off Friday afternoon (10/9) with opening remarks from Jamie Macdonald, CEO, INC Research in which he set the stage on the evolution of the healthcare environment. In case you were still questioning whether technology has a definitive place in our industry, stop looking for an answer. It’s here!  As an industry, we need to accept this change and determine how best to incorporate it into our business models. It’s not going away.

Following Jamie’s presentation, Dalvir Gill, CEO, TransCelerate Biopharma, painted the dynamic picture of the projects currently underway within TransCelerate and the changes occurring in the clinical research industry, to highlight how we are the drivers of change and are influencing the future of the industry as we speak. Friday evening ended with the excitement of hearing from the Site Patient Recruitment Innovation Award (SPRIA) finalists. Finalists presented their innovative approaches to enrollment and were judged by an esteem group of judges including Todd Albin, Senior Director, Site Enrollment Optimization, Acurian; Gretchen Goller, Senior Director, PRA Health Sciences; Len Jokubaitis, MD, Clinical Operations Head, Medical Affairs-Americas Region, Janssen Research & Development, LLC; and Steve Swanson, President and CEO, DAC Patient Recruitment Services.

The finalists were Compass Research, Mzansi Ethic Research Center, Deaconess Clinical Research Institute and Sunrise Medical Research.  We would have to wait until the final day of the Summit to learn of the winner!

[pullquote]…technology has not only enhanced how we capture data, but has completely changed how we use it”[/pullquote]

The second day kicked-off with a lovely breakfast followed by a networking reception. Christine Pierre shared recent survey data that further illustrates the challenges faced by sites globally and how we should continue to develop strong partnerships with sites. As we moved into the afternoon, the conference offered a series of breakout sessions focused on Lesson Labs, Crowdsolving, Site Voice, and Special Interest. DAC’s own CEO, Steve Swanson, participated as a panelist in the session titled, “Social Media: Panacea or Panic”. During this session, we explored how the different players are utilizing social media to enhance enrollment efforts. I myself, DAC’s Vice President of Operations also served as a panelist in a breakout session titled “New Methodology for Data Collection: The Digital Patient”. The other panelists and I explored how technology has not only enhanced how we capture data, but has completely changed how we use this data within our business models.

As we moved into Saturday evening, the red carpet was rolled out to all of the Eagle Award nominees whereby one lucky CRO and Sponsor among all are recognized and voted on by sites.  Let the drum roll begin… the winner in the CRO category was Quintiles; for Sponsors, it was Merck. Congratulations to everyone on a well-deserved recognition by the sites who you support.  The evening finished out with great fun and dancing sponsored by INC Research.

Sunday morning was a beautiful, brisk day which set the perfect stage for the annual 5K Fun Run/Walk for the Heroes, sponsored by DAC Patient Recruitment Services.  Donations for the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation were collected resulting in over $3,000 in support of the Medical Heroes campaign.  What an awesome achievement! And speaking of achievements, 82 participants started and finished the 5K fun run among the beautiful surroundings of Amelia Island.  A good time was had by all.

Site Solutions Summit

After a quick networking breakfast, we gathered on baited breath awaiting the announcement of the winner of SPIRA award.  The winner was…. Mzansi Ethic Research Center for their creativity in bringing traditional healers into the outreach fold! Congratulations to everyone involved.

[pullquote]There continues to be a tremendous lag in clinical trial awareness among the public and even prospective participants.”[/pullquote]

Ken Getz closed the conference with a hot-off-press presentation on Global Public and Patient Perceptive Survey.  Ken shared data from a group of more than 12,000 patients collected over one month earlier this year.  This data supports that there continues to be a high willingness to participate in trials but more now than ever we are seeing lower participation rates. When analyzing data responses obtained in 2015 compared against 2013 we are seeing decline in the public’s perception about clinical trials. There continues to be a tremendous lag in clinical trial awareness among the public and even prospective participants. Past participants are among the highest who actively educate others about clinical trials.  In summary, education remains key in advancing the understanding and participation rates for clinical trials.

The conference closed Sunday afternoon with a big thank you to all attendees and the announcement of next year’s location, Boca Raton, FL!!!  Until next year……

DAC was acquired by Imperial in 2012 and is now fully integrated into Imperial to provide the clinical trials industry with expert patient engagement services.

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