Paid medical research introductions

Do you want to volunteer to help medical research and get free meals, accommodation and leisure activities whilst getting paid for the privilege? It’s a real possibility if you apply to take part in one of the many clinical trials on offer.

Gaining approval

Before drugs can legally be prescribed to patients, they must be tested in approved clinical trials. Without volunteers, research will come to a standstill as we need to trial drugs on humans to see how they work and whether there are any adverse reactions. The medicines being studied have been thoroughly tested on animals and are deemed to be safe. An independent ethics committee oversees all the information given out, and a UK government agency checks them to make sure they are as safe as possible.

Volunteers

Each study requires a different demographic. For example, healthy men aged 18 to 45 might fit the bill for a study to cure colds and flu. To be accepted into a study, you must first register and then go through a vigorous medical examination with numerous blood samples. Questions relating to your sexual history, diet, whether you smoke, and what medications you have taken in the past will be asked. If you are eligible, you will be expected to make yourself available at short notice. The trials are held in either a hospital or research centre, where you could be an inpatient for between one and seven weeks. There are companies out there that have Patient Recruitment Services that will go through these different stages with you and sign you up and let you know what you need to do.  For an idea on what trials are out there and if you are within the parameters check out sites like https://www.richmondpharmacology.com/specialist-services/patient-recruitment.


Remuneration

The amount you get for paid research studies depends on the length of the trial and the number of tests that you undergo. For example, a four-week asthma drug trial might pay you £3,750. On average, you will earn around £120 to £150 per day, which is quite good considering you are just lounging around and the money is paid immediately after the trial is over.

Documents

When you agree to take part in a trial, make sure you read all the documents that are made available to you before signing anything. Remember that you are being paid to give your body over to the clinical trial for experimental purposes. Be totally honest with all your medical history and life habits because anything you hold back could potentially put your life at risk. Be sure to ask yourself what price you would put on your own health.

Are you Considering clinical trials?

Data from smartwatches, activity trackers, sleep and heart rate monitors and other wearable devices are being incorporated into clinical trial methodology more and more frequently. Patients, sponsors and other stakeholders are increasingly recognising their advantages, including better understanding of a participant and the effectiveness of different treatments.

Data collected can provide valuable insight into a patient’s health and their engagement within the study. Patients themselves may have access to life metrics they would not otherwise be aware of.

The possibilities for research within pharmaceuticals are potentially endless, especially as existing products mature and additional ones make their way into the markets. The integration of a variety of data streams will provide a much deeper and more valuable insight into patient experience, as part of clinical trials.

As with anything, however, there are some considerations, which clinical trial services will always bear in mind, prior to the introduction of wearables into a clinical trial.

If you want to take part in a trial there are Patient Recruitment Services out there which you might find on the internet for instance https://www.richmondpharmacology.com/specialist-services/patient-recruitment. Its so well organised they have 250,000 willing volunteers registered and pre-qualified to do clinical trials.

Scientific considerations

In order for data collected through the use of wearables to be reliable, the devices themselves must be:

Fit for purpose – Scientific questions must be driven by the trial’s endpoints and not by the choice of wearables available.

In context – Data collected, including activity levels, sleep patterns and heart rates, is only meaningful in the context in which the data has been collected.

Validated and accurate – Some devices may not have been subject to the same standards of accuracy as other medical devices, especially those developed primarily for commercial use.

Operational considerations

Alongside the scientific considerations outlined above, there are also some operational considerations,

Wearable goals – before even looking at the different devices available, sponsors must first decide what data is required. By having a very specific idea of this, the scope can be considerably narrowed.

Selection – Most people think of activity meters when referring to wearables. However, there are many different types of wearable device, including those which have multiple sensors and/or use patches. As technology improves, new innovations are being brought to market all the time, so finding the most fit for purpose design is likely to become easier and easier.

Patient experience – An uncomfortable device could impact the reliability of data collected, through loss of data or non-compliance.

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