Clinical research is a rapidly evolving field. As technologies improve and advanced capabilities become accessible, new tools, methodologies, and processes also emerge. Depending on the area of research, size, target demographics, and other factors, these new technologies can help improve efficiency, accuracy, speed, and the quality of data gathered and analyzed.
A key element of any CRO’s overall strategy should be to explore the leading edge of what’s possible in clinical research. Today’s tech-driven solutions help monitor and leverage real-world evidence (RWE) and real-world data (RWD) to provide the clearest and most accurate courses to evaluate patient treatments and guide the development of new medical interventions and therapies. These tools allow a CRO to quickly and easily receive patient consent for data sharing and gathering, and help parse, filter, and manage data effectively as it’s imported from a given trial.
In this blog, we’re exploring the key elements of leveraging technology effectively in clinical research.
A CRO that Explores the Best Tech Options for You
To put it simply, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to clinical research technology. Experienced CROs start with a big-picture strategy that will meet your specific needs. Then, hone in on determining the exact technologies and systems to optimize your research and enable success. As the client, you shouldn’t need to make any costly technology overhauls or train staff to learn complex new technologies and software.
In a managed service model, your CRO will recommend and implement the technologies that suit the exact specifications and budget of the trial. You should also receive a full assessment of a project’s budget, scope, and schedule and makes recommendations accordingly. The most trusted CROs are committed to helping clients make the most of their time and money and make a concerted effort to recommend only those solutions that are truly worth your investment. The point is to not only help you achieve your goals but to do so cost-effectively.
Leading CROs offer expert assistance from day one to answer questions and share their knowledge whenever you need it. From application management to validation to business accelerator development, you get end-to-end support for the solutions and best practices that empower you to achieve more, sooner.
Sifting Through Tech Trends in Clinical Research
Just about every new technology promises to “revolutionize the industry.” With so many options to sift through, pursuing the most appropriate ones can be costly and frequently still leads only to insufficient and suboptimal solutions. It’s important to note that an honest, reputable CRO will never push the newest, most expensive technologies on you in every situation. The most effective CROs work to understand new and emerging technologies so they can always recommend what is best for the client, based wholly on a complete understanding of their objectives, needs, and limitations.
Common Tools Used in Clinical Operations Engagements
At the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinical research industry rapidly pivoted toward decentralized and virtual or siteless trials to try and get back on track after so many delays. Fortunately, we have the technology to empower new methodologies, and these trials bear many benefits. Patients no longer need to travel, eliminating a significant burden for many, and patient consent and opt-in processes have been completely streamlined and simplified. Siteless trials also minimize health risks for all patients involved, many of whom have conditions that heighten their vulnerability to disease.
Some of the prominent technologies leveraged today include:
• Clinical Trial Training Platforms (eLearning)
Virtual clinical trials lack onsite training management, but the flexibility of on-demand learning with a clinical trial training platform enables easily scalable training programs that help reduce risk.
• Electronic Data Capture (EDC)
EDC platforms enable patients to enter information remotely and secure all participant information and trial data in one place.
• Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS)
A CTMS is a project management tool tailored to individual clinical operations programs. As the need for virtual and decentralized clinical trial management has exploded, a CTMS is invaluable for managing contacts, documents, calendars, monitoring, site activities, payments, workflows, and much more in a centralized platform.
• Electronic Trial Master File (eTMF)
The eTMF houses all vital documentation about your clinical trial and provides a clear regulatory overview.
eConsent solutions offer simple and compliant electronic signature processes with support for media like images, videos, infographics, and more to aid user comprehension.
• Electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment (eCOA and ePRO)
eCOAs enable clinicians, patients, and site staff to easily input outcomes into the digital system. An ePRO is one type of eCOA that provides outcomes entry data for multiple stakeholders, while ePRO is only for patients.
• Supply Management
Supply management platforms help with the movement, tracking, and monitoring of all trial materials administered to and received from patients. It manages supply inventory, reordering, and related data management.
• Patient Management Software
Various software platforms to help simplify, streamline, and optimize patient management throughout clinical trials include:
o Electronic Health Record Mining
o Televisit Platforms
o Patient Engagement
o Virtual Site Monitoring
Getting Started with the Right CRO
There are still a lot of challenges as the industry continues to deploy decentralized, hybrid, and entirely virtual clinical trials. Technology has become the cornerstone for most of our research today, and these clinical trial technology solutions make the process much easier, but the biggest decision you’ll have to make is who you trust as your CRO.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right CRO, but making the right choice doesn’t have to be intimidating. With decades of proven quality and results in 30+ therapeutic areas, ClinChoice helps large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with a flexible approach and dedicated teams who enable rapid startups and fast timelines.
Talk with a specialist today and remove the guesswork from choosing the right CRO technologies and partnerships.