Patient reported outcomes have played a central role in clinical trials since long before the importance of randomization, placebo controlling and blinding were realized. They provide a great subjective measure of the patient’s condition. In the age of smartphones, patient reported outcomes are still recorded with plain old paper and pen. Paper has provided us the means to quickly and easily record data for hundreds of years; however in today’s increasingly fast paced, data driven world, paper leaves a lot to be desired.

The downsides of paper for use in clinical trials are obvious to most industry insiders. Paper must be mailed between locations, physically stored, tediously backed up and its whereabouts diligently tracked. These activities can significantly increase the costs of running your study. Worse still, paper leaves much to be desired when it comes to data accuracy, putting the accuracy of your study in danger too.

Paper allows participants an abundance of freedom to answer the questions as they see fit, which in some cases means selecting options not presented, writing-in additional information, providing multiple answers to the question or writing illegibly. All of these contribute to a decrease in the quality of the data collected in your trials. Not only that, but data recorded to paper is increasingly being moved to digital systems after the fact. This is another opportunity for data degradation to occur.

Enter ePRO; Electronic patient reported outcomes provide a better way to collect data from your participants. Historically ePRO had not offered the monetary return required to justify implementation. Now though a few companies, such as Med-Quest, have cracked the code, offering simple implementation, a friendly user interface, and upfront costs low enough to achieve a health return on investment (ROI) over the course of the study.

Patients love the simplicity offered by ePRO. People demand simplicity and convenience now more than ever, and ePRO provides it. Their pending forms are at their fingertips as long as they have an internet connection. Whether the participant is on their home computer or their friend’s smartphone they can securely access the system and enter their information. No more driving to research centers or mailing in forms. It’s as simple as they expect it to be.

ePRO offers a variety of benefits for researchers as well. Patient reported outcomes are checked in real time to that all questions are answered and that the values provided are within range, preventing costly and time consuming clarification down the road. Furthermore these digital forms are automatically backed up and the data securely accessible from anywhere you need it.

Taking ePRO a step further is Med-Quest’s ePaper™ a new technology that presents digital forms exactly as they appear on paper. Because ePaper forms are identical to their paper counterparts you’ll never have to revalidate a scored form them just because you’ve moved to a digital system.