Are Virtual Trials a Better Replacement for CROs?

Pharma Tech Outlook: Pharma Tech Magazine

Are Virtual Trials a Better Replacement for CROs?

Stacey Smith, Pharma Tech Outlook | Friday, December 17, 2021

The virtual trials can allow a large number of patients to participate in trials while enabling them to actively take part in their lives, normally without dealing with the challenges of visiting a physical site.

FREMONT, CA: While most of the patients fail to take part in the clinical trials, virtual trials that leverages technology came into the picture. These trials are patient-centric, making it easier to recruit and retain patients and accelerate timelines, at the same time providing patient data to researchers in real-time. Virtual trials will allow the industry to take the trial to the patients instead of making the patient participate in trial directly. With this new model, a patient can go on with their lives without facing the challenges associated with visiting a physical site.

There are numerous possibilities with virtual trials. These outlets can serve as locations for patients who wish to participate in a study. The primary investigator (PI) can interact with a location that is close to the patient’s site using networked communication, telemedicine, and connected devices, thus shifting the old recruitment method. Using this method, pharma can now use direct-to-patient recruitment, digital marketing, social media, and other means of reaching patients breaking the barrier that the patients are located in unreachable places.

Taking trials to the patients allows enrolling more patients into the trials. When greater diversity in trials is achieved, the drugs brought to the market will be better represented by the population using it. Virtual trials can also transform the investigator paradigm. Problems may arise with establishing interaction with patients, scheduling, gathering, and understanding of data, home health nurses, and connected devices. These things need to be enabled with a virtual trial solution.

Conducting a virtual trial goes beyond just creating an app that enables telemedicine and patient-reported outcomes, and it influences CRO. Thus the role of evolving and transforming such that a pharma company can conduct an entire virtual trial themselves, just like they can today for a traditional study.

The surge of virtual trials can reduce site visits, enable studies to access new patient populations, accelerate enrollment, and increase their retention.

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