Digital Patient Recruitment for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common ailment in people aged 40 or older, although associated complications often bring challenges to clinical trial patient recruitment. In this phase IV study, high screen failure rates were expected due to strict eligibility criteria. Clariness provided a customized digital digital patient recruitment for COPD strategy, targeting males and females with moderate COPD. The project scope involved more than 130 investigator sites in Germany.


  • Clariness’ outreach campaign involved a mix of digital patient recruitment for COPD channels, based on demographic targeting of the trial population, and geotargeting within a specific radius from clinical trial sites.
  • Site-level advertising was adjusted daily, based on referral volume, ensuring the most cost-effective advertising spend.
  • Respondents who signed up on the ClinLife® landing page were pre-screened with an online questionnaire.
  • Clariness’ Enrollment Management Center helped to manage the high volume of respondents, using phone-based screening to further qualify respondents before patient referrals were sent to sites. In addition, the Clariness team helped relocate patients to alternative sites where needed, ensuring that no eligible participants were left out.
  • Weekly reports, highlighting the status of each patient at each site boosted site-level performance. Reports were especially helpful to clinical research associates, who used this detailed information to guide ongoing discussions with sites. These reports also clearly indicated which sites needed extra support.


  • Clariness’ digital patient recruitment for COPD campaign generated more than 1.5 million website visits, approximately 40% more than planned.
  • Nearly 10,000 respondents completed online screening and were referred to Clariness’ Enrollment Management Center for phone screening – nearly 80% more than expected.
  • The two-step screening process ensured that only the most qualified patients were referred to sites. Pre-screening efforts significantly reduced the expected work burden on site staff.
  • Clariness contributed 34% of screened and 24% of randomized patients; helping the client meet its randomization goal.