The DPharm: Disruptive Innovations 2019 conference was founded nine years ago in an effort to modernize clinical trials by applying disruptive thinking to reduce trial complexity and lessen the burden on patients and investigators. This year’s conference, which took place September 17–18 in Boston, Massachusetts, brought together innovative thinkers determined to reinvent clinical trials. The conference showcased more than 20 of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, all of which presented on specific innovations.
Praxis was thrilled to cosponsor the event and sent several members of our team to participate in conversations and attend presentations that covered the full spectrum of clinical research, including patient-centric strategies and new business models. Check out what Praxis attendees Karen, Malissa, and Molly had to say about their experiences.
Karen Renzi, director of strategy:
I have always appreciated how DPharm includes perspectives from industries outside the pharmaceutical world in its conference programming. This year, we heard speakers from tech-forward companies, like Healthgrades and Fast Company, as well as fan-favorite Starbucks. Those of us in the clinical trial space can definitely gain insight about how companies in other industries have applied technology to improve the customer experience. After all, our patients are our customers. The same customer-centric principles apply because our efforts all boil down to human-to-human communication.
Reflecting on the presentations, one common theme emerged: the call to action for aspiring change-makers to “start small.” Find ways to begin and test implementations instead of waiting for the entire ship to turn. Yes, there could be failures, but these are ultimately opportunities to learn.
Malissa Bowman, director of operations and compliance:
By attending DPharm, not only were we able to share our own initiatives with industry colleagues, but we also gained a better understanding of how we are all working together toward the same end goal – healthcare advancement for patients.
It was refreshing to see so many companies reevaluating their technology initiatives to make patients and their experiences – rather than dollars and accolades – their top priorities. While industry recognition and savings for sponsors are still by-products of these companies’ advancements, their focus now involves the development of ways to make clinical research participation less burdensome for patients. I see all this as a significant and positive shift in the industry’s thought process.
Molly Chvala, director of digital strategy:
This conference was a great opportunity to understand the larger clinical trial landscape, as well as to learn about specific topics like patient data collection, security options, and devices available to make trials easier. These learnings are integral when we think strategically about connecting with patients and further assisting our clients.
My key takeaway from the conference is actually a familiar design adage: “Meet your customers (or patients) where they are.” This serves as a reminder of how important it is that we conduct user testing and always try to think like our patients during the creation of our campaigns.
Praxis looks forward to sponsoring and attending our next conference, the 11th annual Summit for Clinical Ops Executives (SCOPE), coming in February 2020. To learn more about Praxis and where our team is heading next, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.