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In the modern age of digital media, a large majority of adults now use online resources to obtain health information and connect with clinicians, other patients and patient-centered communities. Consequently, there is an opportunity to improve patient engagement and education surrounding clinical trials through the use of social media platforms. The primary objective of NCI’s “At the Crossroads of Social Media and Clinical Trials: A Workshop on the Future of Clinician, Patient and Community Engagement” is to convene experts in clinical trials, social media, communications as well as patients and patient advocates in a highly interactive setting to learn, network, and discuss best practices to successfully engage and educate the public and health care providers about clinical trials using evidence-based social media strategies. Through this workshop, we hope to build trust and improve informed decision-making about clinical trials.
The workshop will be composed of six sessions over two days.
• Day 1: a) Provide an overview of the current role and potential value of social media in clinical trials b) Offer perspectives and experiences from successful online patient and clinician communities c) Explore potential partnership opportunities to enhance social media
• Day 2: a) Discuss social media tools and metrics to measure and evaluate effectiveness of social media strategies b) Discuss regulatory considerations around the use of social media in clinical trials c) Future considerations for moving forward to improve outreach around clinical trials via social media
A breakout session is planned for the second day to encourage free exchange of ideas and “lessons learned” as well as identify opportunities for next steps using knowledge gained. At the end of the workshop we hope to have synthesized new ideas and facilitated a new cross-disciplinary network from which the NCI can draw on to support its clinical trials outreach efforts. After the workshop, we hope to develop a “social media best practices toolkit” that includes a combination of outreach strategies, resources, and evaluation metrics to support the clinical trials community in order increase their presence and engagement with patient and clinician communities.
Cancer Diagnosis Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, NCI, NIH