US-based contract research organisation PPD wants to improve patient retention in clinical trials by engaging participants more fully with the study process and information about their illness through a new online portal.

Leveraging Microsoft HealthVault, a personal health application platform that allows users to gather, store and share health information online, PPD PatientView is a secure and customisable online portal linking clinical trial participants with biopharmaceutical companies, physicians and healthcare resources.

Participants can view, share and electronically archive medical information related to their illness, as well as communicating with the study team and staying connected with related activities, such as the trial registry and monitoring programme. The PatientView technology also gives patients access to the personal data they are contributing to the study on a per-visit basis.

The rationale is to help clinical trial participants play a more active role in managing their own health while enhancing their sense of involvement and engagement in drug development. The consequence of that, PPD hopes, will be better retention rates.

“Regulatory agencies are requiring longer, more complex clinical studies, increasing the likelihood of patients leaving a clinical study before it’s completed,” noted Mike Wilkinson, executive vice president and chief information officer for PPD. “The loss of patients during a trial can lead to increased costs and delay the trial’s completion.”

PPD PatientView is a part of PPD Adaptive Solutions, a suite of flexible and integrated technology solutions deployed by PPD to meet its clients’ needs in managing drug development and lifecycle issues.