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The SCTO is an independent organisation and is based on a joint initiative of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.

As of 2017, the SCTO is a research infrastructure of national importance funded by the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Forum 2023

SCTO Forum 2023

Patient recruitment in clinical trials

Patient recruitment, up-front enrolment planning, and retention are critical success factors for every clinical trial. How can we reimagine patient recruitment and embed the patient’s perspective into the planning of a clinical trial right from the start?

New digital technologies and innovative clinical trial designs are important tools for overcoming some of the challenges we face in patient recruitment. In addition, decentralised clinical trials (DCTs) are changing how clinical research is conducted while keeping the patient at the heart of this emerging paradigm. The concept of pragmatic trials aligns well with clinical practice and has the potential to boost recruitment. And using electronic health records can open the door to an untapped wealth of information that can support patient recruitment.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the race to develop a vaccine brought into focus the topics of inclusion and diversity in clinical trials. How can we overcome existing barriers and challenges and also create an environment and foster collaboration that increase inclusive research and diversity in clinical trials?

To help put ideas into practice, we identified at the SCTO’s annual forum on 25 January 2023 in Bern action items that make it easier for patients to say "yes" to participating (and staying) in a clinical trial.

The presentations of the SCTO Forum 2023 can be downloaded below.