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Improving Patients’ Lives with Design Thinking: A New Event Launched by The Conference Forum

  • March 24, 2015

  • The Conference Forum is pleased to announce the launch of Design Thinking for Clinical Trials, a new event scheduled for May 11-12 in Boston, MA. This program offers a “how to” process on empathizing with patients to improve the design of clinical trials. The House Energy & Commerce Committee is putting patient-focused drug development at the top of its 21st Century Cures discussion list. The FDA is actively encouraging industry to take an active roll in executing patient-centered clinical trials. But how?

    “This new program is a much-needed response to help create a systematic process to capture the patients’ voice in drug development,” said Valerie Bowling, Executive Director of The Conference Forum.

    Originally developed out of Stanford University’s d.School Design, the Design Thinking process is broken down into five critical elements: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Protoype and Testing. Kate Helber and Jen Reichuber from The Helber Group will lead training on each of these elements. Joining the instructors are representatives from Genentech, Eli Lilly, The Mayo Clinic and HealthiVibe, who share case studies and their experiences in Design Thinking.


    Komathi Stem & Valerie Bowling

    Thanks to Komathi Stem at Genentech, Design Thinking as it applies to patient-centric clinical trials was first introduced at the DPharm USA program, a conference dedicated to clinical trial innovation. “The topic was so popular, we were inundated with requests for the presentation slides,” said Valerie Bowling.

    Industry experts agree that the process of engaging investigators and sites is improving, but the patient perspective is still getting lost in many respects in clinical development. Only by putting patients at the center of everything it does will pharma be able to properly identify how a protocol will be received in a real world setting as well as the quality of life issues that go with any particular therapy.

    Design Thinking for Clinical Trials is designed for R&D management, clinical design, clinical operations and patient recruitment/engagement staff, who want to create a culture that focuses on patient-centric drug development. This program will also benefit people in drug delivery. Form more information about the Design Thinking program visit:

    About the Conference Forum: The Conference Forum develops specialized events for professionals in the life science and health care industries. We currently offer conferences for R&D leaders, clinical development professionals, biotech executives, VCs, drug delivery specialists and pharma/generic government directors. Our mission is to create the best content, exchange ideas and solutions among peers and provide quality networking for Pharmaceutical and Biotech professionals.

    For more information on The Helber Group visit: