Innovating is What We Do!
Employees Test Technology to Support Patients and Study Teams
Michelle Shogren, Head of Clinical Operations Innovation
At Bayer, we view innovations to improve clinical trials as critical to our mission of bringing new treatments to patients. We are constantly seeking solutions to enable participation in clinical trials, with minimal burden to participants. Today, there are many technologies, such as wearable devices, mobile apps, and telehealth platforms that can be applied in our clinical trials.
To support innovation from within Bayer Pharma Research and Development, we created an Idea Greenhouse. It is a place to plant your seed of an idea and have the innovation team help nurture it through research, evaluation, and running proof of concepts to see if your seed grows into a mighty tree or turns out to be a misplaced weed.
Last year, Julien Kroll, Clinical Trial Technology Strategist in Clinical Development Operations submitted his idea into the Idea Greenhouse.
“Even the most experienced project teams will tell you, the implementation of technology often comes with some element of risk and operational challenges. With this in mind, I wanted to give Bayer teams the opportunity to “test” the technology in a risk free and relatively low-cost environment, prior to implementing on an important clinical trial. This is where the Tech4Trials idea came from.
I submitted my recommendation to Bayer’s Clinical Operation Innovation Idea Greenhouse to see how we could drive it forward. The team welcomed my suggestion and provided support.” -Julien Kroll, Clinical Trial Technology Strategist, Clinical Development Operations (CDO)
With Tech4Trials, we offer employees the opportunity to test technologies that Bayer wants to implement in clinical trials. During this process, we learn about the patient experience with feedback provided by employees. We also gain better understanding from the site and study teams’ point of view when we setup devices, download data extracts, and analyse the reports.
We are conscious that Bayer employees do not replace real patients. However, the experience provides teams with: insights related to potential burden for users, advanced awareness of opportunities for additional support, and a better understanding of the data flow and logistics surrounding adding the technology to a trial.
Amy Bohn, Director of Decentralized Clinical Trials, recently participated in a Tech4Trials user test to try out a medication dispenser and blood pressure monitor that is to be used in the patient’s home. Such technology can be used to support patients in creating a regular routine to take their medication. It will also allow the study teams the ability to monitor patients remotely and provide real life data for the clinical trial.
“Having the opportunity to try out the device via Tech4Trials gave me great perspective as to what a patient will experience should we utilize this technology in an upcoming trial. This experience will inform many of the details that contribute to a thoughtful operational plan, and a positive patient experience.”- Amy Bohn, Director, Decentralized Clinical Trials Operations, (CDO)
Tech4Trials is a global initiative. Bayer wants to be able to reach patients wherever they are in the world. This testing allows us to engage other countries and provides teams with the same logistics associated with their clinical trials. By sharing our feedback and lessons learned with vendors, we also help them to develop better solutions for patients and investigative sites participating in Bayer clinical trials.
Innovating is What We Do
The proof concept for this program was kicked off at Bayer earlier this year and has already completed three user tests for different devices. We collected feedback from almost 40 employees, across 8 different countries. The results will be evaluated in Q4 and I am optimistic that there will be support for the Tech4Trials program to continue.
Tech4Trials is a great example of our innovation efforts at Bayer. Seeing a challenge or opportunity and coming up with ways to address it is the beginning. Creating a plan and collaborating with others to make it possible is what turns the idea into an innovation! Tech4Trials clearly connects to our strategy and is extremely customer centric. Looking forward to seeing where this goes!