Innovative Trials launches ‘first of its kind’ service to boost clinical trial patient recruitment and retention

Innovative Trials, a global company specializing in clinical trial patient recruitment, engagement and retention, has today (Monday 9 October) announced a new patient-first service to support sponsors and sites in accelerating the development of innovative new therapies. The company’s new Navigator service has been designed to provide direct support to clinical trial participants from the referral stage to study endpoint. Following several successful pilot projects in the US, it has been shown to boost the recruitment process and increase patient engagement. This subsequently leads to greater patient retention, which protects data quality and reduces costly delays, ultimately expediting the development of potentially life-changing medicines. It is currently estimated that more than four in five studies face delays due to patient recruitment issues [1]. Many are likely to be discontinued due to poor recruitment [2] and even once enrollment is complete, around 30 percent of participants are likely to drop out [3], which could risk early termination. 

Kate Shaw, Founder and CEO of Innovative Trials, said: “We are delighted to publicly launch our new Navigator service following a hugely successful 18-month trial run in the US. Clinical trial patient recruitment and retention can be extremely challenging and has become more so in recent years with the growth of personalized medicines where niche patient populations are required. Building clinical trials and related services around the needs of patients is crucial for effective enrollment in this day and age, and this is also true for minimizing dropout rates. Our Navigator service has been developed for our clients with the patient firmly at its heart. By putting people at the centre of this service and focusing on the support they may need, trials will benefit from more engaged participants and a more streamlined approach to the study overall.”

Innovative Trials’ Navigator service comprises a global team of ‘Patient Navigators’, who are experienced clinical research professionals and Mental Health First Aiders, and will be based in the same country as participants and speak the local language. They can support sites in two ways: pre-screening support for digital referrals and patient and caregiver retention support. Sponsors are able to commission one or both components of the service.


Pre-screening support 

With digital marketing increasingly used as a clinical trial patient recruitment tool, which often results in large volumes of referrals of various quality, the Innovative Trials Navigator service will support sites by managing the entire process. Once referrals are received, the Navigator team will contact individuals within two business days to take them through a screening questionnaire and book them a screening visit if required. Once people are deemed eligible for the study, the Patient Navigators will share their details with the appropriate site to progress the study.

One client, a specialist in global patient recruitment, worked with Innovative Trials’ new Navigator service to speed up the pre-screening process for a study as part of the service’s pilot last year and said: “The Navigator team knocked the study out of the park and I’m so grateful to have been able to work with them. They assisted in reviewing and pushing thousands of referrals…were instrumental in the success of the media campaigns and [everyone was] so appreciative of the collaboration.”


Clinical trial patient and caregiver retention support

Once a person is enrolled into a clinical trial, the company’s Navigator team can provide personalized support to each participant. This will last from the beginning of the clinical trial until the very end, even if the study takes several years. This support is available in different forms depending on a sponsor’s requirements:

  1. Clinical trial participants are provided with a phone number and email address for the study’s dedicated Navigator team. Whenever a patient has a specific question or requires information or other forms of support, they can use these details to contact the Patient Navigators directly. All messages aim to be answered within one business day. 
  2. Patient Navigators are given the authority to actively contact participants for pre-agreed tasks, such as technological support, appointment reminders and follow-up calls. 
  3. The two approaches are combined to offer a full patient-facing support service. 


Eloise Moffett, Vice President of Commercial for Innovative Trials, said: “Our Navigator service has been developed following direct feedback from our clients. Clinical trial patient recruitment and retention can be an intensive process for study sites and from our own experience, we know this is an area that many struggle with due to time and resource constraints. Our Navigator offering builds on our award-winning patient-centric services to remove this burden from individual sites, allowing them to focus on the science and other areas of patient care to keep the clinical trial progressing while we ensure patients are directly supported through the enrollment process and beyond. This service is the first of its kind in providing long-term and direct patient-facing support throughout the entirety of a study.”

Innovative Trials’ Navigator service is already highly rated by both clinical trial participants and study sites. Feedback shows that more than nine in 10 participants (93 percent) said they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the service and 95 percent said would likely use it again. Meanwhile, sites gave the overall service and its pre-screening component a rating of nine out of 10 [4].

For more information about Innovative Trials’ new Navigator Service, please visit Innovative Trials works with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of life-changing treatments. The company has been involved with patient recruitment and retention for hundreds of clinical trials and played a part in more than 15 new treatments being approved for patients across the world. 



For more information, please contact Laura Gibson at Presence Media on +44 7771 933609 or at [email protected]

Notes to editors


  1. Stevenson, K. (2022). 85% of Clinical Drug Trials Face Delays. What’s the True Cost? MarketScale. 
  2. Mouw, T. J., Hong, S. W., Sarwar, S., Fondaw, A. E., Walling, A. D., Al-Kasspooles, M., & DiPasco, P. J. (2018). Discontinuation of surgical versus nonsurgical clinical trials: an analysis of 88,498 trials. The Journal of surgical research, 227, 151–157.
  3. Alexander W. The uphill path to successful clinical trials: keeping patients enrolled. P T. 2013;38(4):225-227.
  4. Data is based on the responses of 72 clinical trial participants and 12 study sites that provided feedback.

About Innovative Trials

Founded in 2010, Innovative Trials works alongside pharmaceutical and clinical research organisations to ensure that patients enrol into clinical trials in a timely manner and are fully informed of what the research will involve for themselves and their families. This enables potential new treatments to come to market as early as possible to provide alternative therapeutic options for present and future patients. Based in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, Innovative Trials employs over 60 members of staff in the UK. The company works internationally with a further 65 people stationed overseas in 70 countries to help clinical trial researchers recruit eligible patients and keep them involved. For more information, visit