How is CRO Role Changing with Virtual Clinical Trials?
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How is CRO Role Changing with Virtual Clinical Trials?

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Tuesday, October 13, 2020

CROs must respond to the global pandemic with digital clinical trial solutions to help biopharma companies continue research initiatives and provide more infrastructure to ensure patient safety.

FREMONT, CA: With Covid-19 delivering a slap in the face to ongoing and planned researches, the future of clinical trials as virtual has quickly become a very urgent present.  Virtual is now the only way to complete an ongoing study, to start a new one, and to avoid haemorrhaging cash and opportunity. Virtual trials are visioned at being more patient-centric, avoiding the need for patients to travel to sites. But not everyone is convinced that virtual is a panacea for clinical research. Contract Research Organizations (CROs) will need to train patients in the proper use of study equipment and completion of evaluations. Training should be web-based. Here is how CROs are adapting to virtual clinical trials.

Top 10 CRO - 2020Regardless of the present and predicted future use of virtual trials, the outsourcing of clinical trial services is a market that continues to evolve.  A CRO can help sponsors solve patient issues, particularly if the sponsor selects for a completely virtual trial without any central site. The move towards virtual trials demands that CROs revamp their business models. More than competing for customers, it is vital for CROs to find and establish collaborations with the right stakeholders to complement abilities in evolving digitally-led patient-centric clinical trial designs.

Focus points for CROs to evolve or collaborate include integrative technology like AI and blockchain, virtual clinical trials and specialist vendor partnerships. Many CROs are capitalizing heavily o this transformation to be the digital provider. But it’s too soon to tell whether firms are better served by investing in developing their own capabilities or partnering with specialist technology providers. Wearable devices and mHealth apps also support virtual trials or hybrid models in which patients receive their care digitally. As a result, data collection and analysis have become major considerations for sponsors and their CRO partners. Coupling trial data with real-world evidence has become a critical element in clinical research.

For years, CROs have been adapting processes to offer a more patient-centric service that is flexible to patients and sponsors’ demands. As virtual trials becoming more prevalent, CROs will have to become even more adept at managing large amounts of data. Far from being extra hands on deck, CROs should be experts in data collection.

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