The importance of clinical trials and research to the field of medicine is indisputable, but unfortunately, such areas of study are frequently the subjects of bad press. It is a necessary stage in the development of vital medicines, techniques and processes that there be must be direct interaction with patients at some point for the purposes of study and evaluation. While it is understandable that some patients may feel like guinea pigs if exposed to research-based medical scrutiny, to others it can be a cathartic, fulfilling experience.
As we offer bespoke solutions in the field of data capture, it naturally falls to us to develop methods to communicate effectively with patients that would otherwise struggle be understood through conventional means. We have worked with patients undergoing speech therapy, stroke victims and people with mental health problems to develop methods of communication necessary to conduct research that will help future suffers of similar problems. Custom tablet cases that are easier to operate, devices with larger buttons and voice-activated software allow patients whose communication skills are limited to record their experiences, thoughts and answers, providing the NHS with valuable data for their studies. Such patients benefit from having an outlet that would otherwise be denied them in their condition.
We understand that being laid up in hospital can be difficult for a number of reasons, chief among which are boredom and a sense of helplessness. Inviting patients to take part in medical research can make them feel validated and important; instead of being informed repeatedly of their situation by members of the medical profession, they are being asked to share their own thoughts and opinions on their state. Furthermore, inviting patients to involve themselves in research studies that are of direct benefit to themselves or others gives them back a sense of control. Simply being able to contribute to something larger than themselves is a very positive, cathartic experience for many patients, who benefit from the trials through an increased sense of involvement and altruism. Research involvement is often heralded as something to be feared and questioned; instead, we say that many of the patients involved in carefully conducted and regulated research do so willingly and excitedly, and it is time the common conceptions were altered to reflect this.