Lightship, Inc. Market Research Confirms Patients’ Interest in Direct-to-Patient Trial Offering Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Lightship, a global direct-to-patient clinical trial company, recently announced the results of a nationwide market research survey designed to capture patients’ opinions surrounding clinical trial participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicated that the option to participate in clinical research from home significantly offsets patients’ concerns about virus transmission. The findings reinforce market forecasts that predicted a rapid uptick in direct-to-patient models, which increase patient access, lower costs, and shorten timelines in clinical trials.

The Lightship design team deployed a national patient insight survey in late April 2020 to better understand how concerns about COVID-19 transmission had affected patients’ day-to-day activities and behaviors, and in what way their concerns changed their willingness to participate in clinical research.

Lightship surveyed 940 adults across the U.S. through direct digital marketing channels. Nearly all respondents (94 percent) reported being under stay-at-home orders and 85 percent reported their general well-being as affected by COVID-19 to various degrees. Seventy-two percent of respondents without a COVID-19 diagnosis reported being “very” or “somewhat” concerned about getting sick or becoming infected with the illness.

Despite their concerns, though, 71 percent of the respondents still said they would consider taking part in a clinical research study. While only 28 percent of patients said they would be comfortable going to a clinic or hospital to participate in a clinical trial, more than two-thirds expressed comfort with the idea of a research nurse visiting them at home or with the research being conducted via telemedicine. Of those who indicated they would not be interested in taking part in clinical research, 40 percent said that if the research took part from home with no visits to a clinic, they would reconsider their interest in participating.

“This makes way for a tremendous opportunity for Lightship,” said Samantha Eells, who led the deployment of the patient survey. “We are partnering with leading sponsors to provide end-to-end solutions for patients to reduce the burden of trial participation.”

Read the full press release here.