Most sponsors and CROs are using decentralized trial technology but more data management work needs to be done to take full advantage of the approach according to new research.
The study conducted by trials-focused clinical trial tech firm Veeva Systems found most industry sponsors and CROs (87%) use some type of decentralized technology, up 59 percentage points from before the pandemic.
Companies that took part have added an average of four applications to their clinical businesses which, according to Veeva, has impacted data collection and stakeholder collaboration as well as study quality and speed.
Respondents cited improving engagement with patients and sites as a driver for moving to a digital trial model.
Jim Reilly, vice president, Vault R&D at Veeva Systems, said, “While decentralized approaches have driven positive change in clinical research, more work remains to deliver faster, more cost-effective trials.
“True digital trials will connect the clinical ecosystem and deliver a better trial experience for patients, sites, and sponsors.”
Building this ecosystem will involve overcoming some challenges according to Veeva, which says 70% of respondents said the lack of technology at some sites was a hurdle.
In addition, half of those that took part in the study said technology-aversion among trial participants was becoming a difficulty.
However, according to the firm “Sponsors and CROs are investing in making studies more accessible and convenient to patients by better supporting sites with technology and eliminating paper processes, efforts that can enable seamless trial execution and data flow.”
The study also indicates that, despite the challenges, the clinical trial sector’s shift towards remote studies and the use of digital technologies will accelerate over the next few years.
Some 95% of respondents told Veeva they plan to increase their use of decentralized trials over the next 24 months.
The study also suggests that investment in emerging digital trial technologies will continue.
According to Veeva “32% [of respondents] say they have adopted or plan to adopt eRegulatory / eISF for their sites within the next 12 months, followed by eConsent (31%) and eSource (27%).”
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