Clinical-trialsponsors can use big data both to inform decisions on trial placementand to target related advertising geographically, optimisingpotential for patient recruitment, a new report has found.

Online community andePatient recruitment specialist Tudor Reilly Health focused itsresearch on three distinct therapy areas – schizophrenia, atopicdermatitis and non-small cell lung cancer – and looked for 'hotspots' of associated online activity at state and city levelthroughout the US.

The report, Clinicaltrial recruitment in the age of the epatient, found significantdiscrepancies between where clinical-trial sites were either plannedor up-and-running, and where prospective trial participants mightactually live, Tudor Reilly noted.

The data wereharnessed using the company's ePatient Insights platform, based on analgorithm that layers public and privately-held data. These datacreate geographical hot spots indicating where the largest patientpopulations with a particular condition may be located.

Rarely used

The use of bigdata to inform important decisions is now commonplace in business butrarely used to inform clinical-trial planning” commented JulieWalters, founder and managing director of Tudor Reilly Health.

And yet, withever-increasing numbers of patients creating, sharing and searchingfor health information online, ignoring the applications of big datais a missed opportunity.”

It also, Walterspointed out, contributes to delays in recruitment that can cost trialsponsors “millions of dollars in lost sales”.