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ASH 2016 | How to use social media in clinical trials – reaching out to patients

Irene Ghobrial, MD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, discusses ways to use social media in clinical trials. Dr Ghobrial explains that they started using social media because of the the pre-cursor clinic; they wanted to see patients with monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) and smouldering myeloma but did not have access to them. Instead of waiting for patients to come to the clinic, they decided to reach out to patients and provide them with the option to get involved. They started to crowdsource for patients and launched a website targeting patients with pre-cursor conditions including MGUS or smouldering myeloma. Potential clinical trial patients are then able to consent online and send off their samples. Within one year, they have reached 700 patients with this method and they are optimistic that this number will continue to grow. Dr Ghobrial explains that it is possible to use social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, to engage with patients and empower them with the option to take part in clinical trials. Further, social media engagement will also allow access to educational information on the latest research in this field. Recorded at the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, held in San Diego, CA.

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