Engaging the end-user community into the development of neurotech devices is not a new concept. We wouldn’t design a smartphone, automobile or appliance without input from the end-user, would we? But we do when it comes to medical devices.
Sure, there are clinical trials but they only gather feasibility, safety or effectiveness data. They typically don’t address user preferences, risk versus benefit and interface considerations- an oversight that can lead to costly delays or failures. That is where end-user engagement comes into play.
Many pharmaceutical companies have already figured this out. The reference below is from a model developed by the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute to demonstrate the value of engaging end-users in a phase two study:
“The cumulative impact of a patient engagement activity that avoids one protocol amendment and improves enrollment, adherence, and retention is an increase in net present value (NPV) of $62MM and an increase in ENPV of $35MM.”Levatin, B, et al Assessing the Financial Value of Patient Engagement: A Quantitative Approach from CTTI’s Patient Groups and Clinical Trials Project, 2017
A study conducted by the University of Alabama, Birmingham found that in a cross-sectional analysis of 2014 Health Information National Trends Survey found that only 2.7% of people actually participated an engagement activity.Hearld KR, Hearld LR, Hall AG. Engaging patients as partners in research: Factors associated with awareness, interest, and engagement as research partners. SAGE Open Med. 2017;5:2050312116686709. Published 2017 Jan 4. doi:10.1177/2050312116686709