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The single technology that will have the biggest impact on clinical trials - INDUSTRY VOICES

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The list of new technologies impacting clinical trials today is almost endless. However, for every one that makes a lasting and meaningful difference to the way trials are run, there are others that come and go. We asked seven industry experts representing Sponsors, technology suppliers and patient groups what they think is the single technology that will have the biggest impact on clinical trials and how.

Bruce Hellman, CEO, uMotif - @umotif

“It has to be the smartphone – its ubiquity as well as the underlying technology powering each device.

We’ve already seen rapid digitisation across our lives changing the way we travel, shop, and socialise. Clinical research is starting to take advantage of this technology by enabling patients to use their own smartphones to capture data for clinical trials. This is known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

The impact of BYOD is more accessible and appealing clinical trials. Patients are able to participate in research as part of their daily digital routine, as easily as checking their Facebook account or bank balance. This leads to more engaged patients contributing to research, which increases the volume and quality of data captured.

What’s more, BYOD powers new research methods - virtual trials. Removing the need for patients to visit dedicated trial clinics and centres reduces budgets and improves timeliness of the data captured. Patients can enter symptoms as they experience them, or when a daily notification alerts them, rather than waiting for scheduled visits.”

Bruce Hellman will be taking part in a panel discussion on the dilemma of collecting massive amounts of data at Clinical Trials Europe on 20 November in Barcelona.

Jenny Royle, Patient-centricity Senior Program Leader, digitalECMT at CRUK Manchester Institute, and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

“I actually don’t think that there is going to be one single biggest technology that is going to revolutionise trials. I think the biggest revolution is going to be with the people using technology-innovations, as a low level of generalised cultural-acceptance, plus understandable unwillingness to deviate from established care pathways, is currently proving to be a far larger bottle-neck to digital transformation than the technology itself. If this can change, then I think a new wave of innovation is likely to rapidly transform trials.”

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Ruby Saharan, Senior Medical Advisor- RWE, Novartis Oncology UK and Ireland

“Tech solutions that can bring the trial to the patient, and automation of the data collection/cleaning process. Both would cut down costs of generating clinical trial data considerably - which is the single biggest cost to drug manufacturers.”

Ruby Saharan will be speaking Clinical Trials Europe in Barcelona, 20 November, on using clinical EHRs, including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to assist the drug commercialization process. 

Renee Deehan-Kenney, PhD, Vice President of Computational Biology, QuartzBio

“With a veritable explosion of data characterizing patient and disease biology, clinical trials are advancing in ability to 1) match patient population with successful therapies and 2) proceed without requiring recruitment of large, de novo control arms. That said, extracting actionable insight from these oceans of clinical data remains a significant challenge. Computable knowledge bases – databases which capture mechanistic insights, such as biological pathways or molecular interactions, in a format that can augment data and computational-driven analyses – are revolutionizing our industry’s ability to uncover and act on true signals in their data ecosystem to accelerate and de-risk drug development.”

RELATED ARTICLE: How full virtual clinical trials can become reality in the next 10 years

Michael Song, Senior Manager R&D, MedImmune

“The smartphone and ability to link patients with trial sites and physicians instantly as well as the ability to capture real time data.”

Micheal will be delivering a presentation on ‘Building models to engage more and ‘better’ patients in clinical trials’ at Clinical Trials Europe on 20 November in Barcelona.

Christian Born Djurhuus, MD, PhD, BSc, Vice President, Head of Digital Transformation, Global Development, Novo Nordisk A/S

“Patient facing data capture/data conduits (today smartphones) which allows for both IoT capture but also PRO data collection, patient engagement elements and patients-site Interaction facilitation (telemedicine and chat).”

Christian Born Djurhuus is taking part in a panel discussing the trials of the future at Clinical Trials Europe on 19 November in Barcelona. 

Siobhan Southam, Strategic Engagement Leader, digitalECMT at CRUK Manchester Institute, and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

“I’m not sure it’s a single technology, but the current focus seems to be on the digitisation of clinical trials i.e. data collection and acquisition. It’s more about streamlining operational aspects and reducing costs than fundamental change.”

Siobhan Southam will be speaking about innovation in care pathways for clinical development at Clinical Trials Europe on 20 November in Barcelona.


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