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Program and deploy robots as relationship agents
short description
Program robots with artificial intelligence to interact with patients at home with ease to facilitate relationship building with trial sites
Barriers we are addressing include 1). unaware of trial opportunities, 2). lack of understanding and misconception about the trial process, 3). lack of comfort and trust relationship with researchers and physicians, 4). complex registration process. Those barriers exist largely because cancer patients are at a disadvantage both physically and cognitively to seek information on their own, this is especially true for older and minority patients. We believe those barriers could be lowered by making information more accessible in more natural interaction, and by facilitating communication between patients and clinical trial sites.
Provide link to a source describing the barrier
Provide link to a source describing the barrier
What is your proposed solution to addressing the barriers?
E4 team submission by Jack Zeng.docx
What are potential obstacles to your solution? How will you work around these roadblocks?
Developing new materials of information on clinical trials could be a
potential obstacle. Government sponsored
website is the official and also for most of clinical trials the sole source
of information content. The information there is mostly academic. Our
solution calls for developing information in richer formats for lay
people, it would require trial sponsors and site researchers to invest
extra time and effort to go beyond Some trial sites
may not be ready to make this investment, we will then reach out to
many sites to find a right partner.
What % increase in accrual rates do you anticipate?
We anticipate to at least double the accrual rate. We believe E4
robots are capable of achieving the goals: educate, empower,
engage, and enable patients, to a similar extent that clinical research
coordinators are capable of. The supply of trial coordinators is limited,
but that of E4 robots is not. So even for a sheer increase in E4 supply,
we anticipate to see proportional increase on accrual rate. There are
two methods we can employ to prove the increase. One is to divide a
trial into two groups where one uses existing recruitment effort and
the other uses our solution and compare results. Another is to
compare results with historic data. We anticipate results of our
solution be visible in 3 to 6 months.
How do you anticipate maintaining the % increase in accrual rates over time?
Once patient recruitment is closed, E4 robots can be reprogrammed
with a new purpose and new capabilities to stay with patients at home
all time to continue as relationship agents. They can continue to
facilitate communications with clinical trial sites, they can also be
equipped with new capabilities such as collecting measurements,
sending reminders for appointment and for taking medications, etc.
They can be as capable in retaining patients as in recruiting them.
How will you overcome legal/regulatory hurdles, if any?
We don't anticipate any legal or regulatory hurdles except the approval of IRB which was discussed earlier.
Why hasn’t your proposed solution been tried before? If it has, what prevented it from succeeding?
This is, to our knowledge, the first time robots have been programmed with this type of capabilities to perform this type of functions.

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