Patient Engagement: Barriers and Solutions

23rd May 2024 by Priya Bhogal

We attended the BHBIA 2024 Conference earlier this month, and we found the conversations around research participation to be truly eye opening. We’ve been reflecting on some of the outputs shared around how to maintain patient engagement within research. As insight discovery is a core tenant of what we do, we understand the needs and demands of engaging participation in qualitative and quantitative research projects.

One of the key takeaways from the conference for us was how crucial it is to hear patient’s opinions, and the difficulty experienced to achieve good quality insights that also have the patient’s comfort in mind.

It was valuable, although unsurprising, to hear that the industry is struggling to reach the more introverted patients, or those who may need reassurance of anonymity to contribute to such research programs.

Our experience working with patients means that we understand the need for accessibility and inclusion.  Patients want minimal disruption to their lives when joining a research project, and it’s important to practically acknowledge this in order to gain feedback for a true, all-round view of how pharma can make changes to dismantle the barriers they may face.

Our compliant, asynchronous text-based technology is used for more than digital advisory boards (DABs) with healthcare professionals (HCPs), as it has vast applications with patients too. It negates all obstacles that may make a patient feel uncomfortable in a face-to-face or virtual meeting environment, being anonymous (if required) and allowing the ability to log in at any time throughout the duration of the project.

The conference also raised the importance of sharing the collated feedback with patients, and how to improve based on their comments; as this is something that’s always held true to medDigital’s ways of working, this resonated with us.

Read about the Patient advisory meeting we ran in women’s health, and their feedback on how our platform eliminated this barrier. If you’d like to know more about running insight-gathering activities on medCrowd, email us at


This was a non-promotional activity sponsored by a charity, as part of a gynaecological cancer survivor initiative, in partnership with a major pharmaceutical company and two hospitals in Ireland. Our client sought to receive insights from patients and involve them in the creation of a “life after cancer” clinic, which aims to improve services for female cancer patients and survivors in Ireland.


We ran a text-based digital advisory board (DAB), where our client had set objectives and knew what key points they wanted the discussion to cover. This was a unique digital advisory board as it was led by patients and patient advocates, rather than health care professionals. We worked together to find the best questions to spur the discussion toward the desired topics.


This project provided valuable, rich insights on cancer treatment and survivorship services in Ireland. The activity allowed our clients to begin planning a “life after cancer” clinic to improve services for female cancer survivors, ensuring it would truly meet the needs of real patients. The patients were supported by medDigital throughout the entire project, and insights were shared via medCrowd, so that they could exchange opinions and truly see the real-world benefits of their contribution.


“Thank you so much and thank you for letting me provide my honest survey to your project” ~Patient - Oncology

“Thank you for your patience, time, consideration and assistance” ~Patient- Oncology