How To Recruit Patients For Medical Research

1/15 people worldwide suffer from chronically rare diseases. And while medical professionals are willing to shed blood, sweat, and tears to come up with cures to these diseases, a big step they’ll need to overcome is finding the right people to help.

So how can these medical professionals find patients who are willing to participate in their study? Here are some tried and tested ways!


For as long as we can remember, we’ve all been banking on word of mouth to get news around. Some researchers have medical representatives on the field in their behalf to look for patients who want to participate in their research, while other partner with advocacy groups and health organizations to have a bigger pool of people.

The good news is, this method has been proven through the years and is sure to connect the right kind of patients with the medical research best suited for them. On the other hand, while we wouldn’t say it’s ineffective, it’s inefficient.

Researchers could be connecting with way more people than they are able to when looking for patients the traditional way. Instead of finding 10 patients to work with, you can ramp up that number dramatically by widening your reach!

ATL or Above The Line Marketing

When it comes to reach, above the line marketing has it covered. This strategy uses platforms that are accessible to almost everyone. So whether it’s through TV, radio, newspaper, and outside of home advertising (billboards, events, etc.), using ATL marketing is sure to secure you a high volume of eyeballs.

As any business would understand, viewership is one thing but conversion is a whole new ballgame. Even if ATL marketing can secure you 500,000 eyeballs on your ad, how many of those people are actually potential patients for your research?

That’s the thing with ATL marketing – while collaterals are strategically placed in locations sure to be seen by people, there is no way of counting how many people actually see it. Or even if you knew how many people watched TV that night, you can’t measure for sure how many of those understood the information, let alone needed it.

When it comes to ATL marketing, think of it as an email blast. It’s sent to a large number of people in hopes of reaching someone who cares.

Aside from the fact that ad placements on high volume platforms can be very costly, you’re also not guaranteed conversion from it. For a hail mary shot, is it really worth it?

From here you’ll see how the first two marketing strategies can be a little problematic for researchers. They either use their money to spend for viewership and risk not getting patients from it or spend a lot of time manually looking for patients they can work with and end up with a handful.

At this rate, how far can we really go when it comes to finding medical solutions for patients of orphan diseases or very very rare diseases?

Online Recruitment

Here’s the silver lining! With the rise of digital platforms left and right, businesses all over the world have acknowledged its power over consumer persuasion and the medical field is not an exception.

In fact, as of 2013 online advertising has passed the effectiveness of TV ads as per the ROIs (Return of Investment) of businesses around the world. Not just because advertising online is much more cost efficient as compared to above the line marketing, but also because most consumers and patients are found online.

That’s the magic of precision marketing for you! AKA: Knowing your target market and making sure they receive your message loud and clear.

Especially, when it comes to rare diseases, patients rely heavily on digital resources. Patients are constantly on the lookout for possible cures, whether a medical innovation or organic solution, and support groups that can understand and empathize with the experience to give them some sort of relief.

With that fact in mind, researchers can now optimize the algorithm of Facebook, Instagram, Google, and the like to find the perfect patient. This strategy is called “retargeting.”

Retargeting is when websites follow the digital footsteps of a consumer and see what they have searched for, what they’ve purchased, and other online consumer behavior. Through this, google can gauge what this particular consumer is interested in and can start bumping up more of the things this consumer wants to see.

Through retargeting, researchers can not just increase viewership, but can ensure that the viewers they have actually find their ads relevant. In short, researchers can be at peace knowing their communicative efforts will reach the patients they are looking for. This way, researchers can spend more of their time and resources on creating more medical solutions.

When it comes to medical research, researchers can work with organizations like Care Clinique who optimize this digital algorithm and help you reach more patients in need of your help. We understand the struggle and we’re here to help. If you’re searching for patients to participate in your medical research, click on this link, and we’ll be on it!


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