Using design, research and piloting to launch and scale a patient engagement tool for clinical trials

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Building a tool for clinical trials from scratch.

Poor patient compliance is a major methodological issue in clinical trials, affecting both the time and cost required to operate research. Participant experience is not aptly considered in traditional trial design and operations, and many studies have inconvenient and arduous requirements for participants, which impacts compliance. 

Seeing an opportunity for improvement in this space, MPM Capital and a top-5 life science company jointly funded a technology startup to create a smartphone app and platform that improves the patient experience and data collection process in clinical trials. Recognizing that rigorous evidence would be required to scale a tool in the clinical trials space, they brought on HITLAB to provide research services throughout the product development lifecycle, from concept to market launch. 


Step-wise research methods.

We worked with startup founders from concept to launch, deploying a series of research methods tailored to the stage of development.

Periodic user research in small batches 

As the product advanced to MVP stages, we ran periodic small-scale studies in batches of 10-20 patients at a time to test for bugs and gain feedback on design, usability, and usefulness. 

Wireframe builds and user interface testing 

In the earliest days, we performed UX/UI testing and created wireframes to reflect our findings. 

Randomized controlled trial to validate key outcomes

As the product refined, we ran a randomized controlled trial in 90 patients, gathering rigorous data on how the product impacted their treatment adherence over a three month period (and continuing to detect areas for improvement).


Widespread diffusion.

Following our randomized controlled trial, the startup was able to attain early customers in the life science space. From there, they were acquired by Clinical Ink, a major supplier of electronic tools for clinical trials. Rebranded as “SureSource,” the product is now used in clinical trials by leading life science companies. 

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