With the increase in decentralized trial models and technology, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to assume patient travel has gotten easier or less frequent in recent years. However, a Greenphire analysis of clinical trial participant travel, reported in Outsourcing Pharma, uncovered exactly the opposite: clinical trial travel rose from 29% in 2019 to 44% in 2021.1 The Greenphire analysis also found that trial participants in the analyzed group traveled, on average, 67 miles each way to visit trial sites and 60% had to travel more than 30 minutes one way. Furthermore, on average, rare disease participants traveled 135 miles for a study.

This increase in travel distance, time, and frequency suggests travel is a bigger barrier to patient recruitment and retention than the industry previously thought. However, Elligo Health Research® offers several solutions to overcoming the patient-travel barrier.

Elligo’s Patient-Centric Solutions

Elligo is working to increase patient recruitment and retention in clinical trials with a unique blend of patient-centric sponsor services and site support. Through our holistic approach to improving clinical research, we offer three solutions to the worsening travel problem.

1) PatientSelect® Model to Increase Access to Clinical Trials

Focusing on the patient journey, our PatientSelect® model optimizes the intersection of healthcare and research to accelerate clinical trials and make participation easier for patients and their caregivers.

Instead of the standard trial enrollment method of finding research sites and then looking for patients through those sites, PatientSelect® starts by finding the patients and then connecting with the healthcare facilities those patients already have relationships with. We use our direct access to more than 150 million known patients through HIPAA-compliant identified healthcare data to find the required patients for any given study. Then we provide the infrastructure, training, and support the found patients’ primary care practices, pharmacies, and other community providers need to serve as sites for the study. In other words, rather than asking the patients to come to the trial, PatientSelect® brings the trial to where the patients already are — reducing or even eliminating travel.

2) Patient Travel Services to Make Research Travel Attainable

In some instances, such as rare disease or gene therapy trials, travel is unavoidable. In these cases, Elligo offers Patient Travel Services to ease the travel burden for patients and caregivers, making it easier for them to participate and therefore much more likely to enroll and remain enrolled.

Our Patient Travel Services features customized travel, reimbursement, and stipend solutions. We provide patients and caregivers with a single point of contact to give them 24/7 concierge-level support for flight, hotel, and ground transportation coordination, assistance with special requests such as wheelchair accessibility, and booking help through trusted vendors with reduced rates and enhanced services. We also offer support for reimbursements and stipends on an easy-to-use platform for patients, caregivers, and sites that includes a mobile application for on-the-go submissions, real-time review, and trackable funds and reimbursement approvals.

3) Remote Research Services to Enable Hybrid and Decentralized Studies

In the aforementioned Greenphire analysis, 81% of respondents reported a preference for hybrid trial models and 57% of respondents preferred participating mostly from home with some site visits.1

With patient preferences in mind, Elligo offers Remote Research Services that support hybrid trial models, allowing patients to participate both from home and from their preferred site. Our Remote Research Services manage and centralize all decentralized and hybrid trial requirements to streamline the study process, maintain the trusted patient-physician relationship, and expand research participation. Fully customizable, Remote Research Services include a central point of contact for patients and caregivers to assist with everything from visit reminders and study-related screenings to transportation booking and support as well as home trial services like direct-to-patient visit support and lab and investigational product management. Remote Research Services also features telemedicine aid to help with patient education and engagement, remote admissions, protocol reminders, and general care.

Partner With Elligo to Solve the Patient Travel Problem

When you want to ease the travel and participation burden to increase enrollment and retention in your clinical trial, there’s Only Elligo.

Contact us today to learn more about our patient-centric, research-accelerating solutions.


  1. Taylor, N. Clinical trial participants travel 67 miles to study sites on average, analysis finds. Outsourcing Pharma. Published 2022 Nov. 9.

When you need direct access to physicians and their known patients or research practice management solutions to accelerate your clinical trials, there’s Only Elligo.

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