How is Digitalization Driving the Incorporation of Virtual Trials?
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How is Digitalization Driving the Incorporation of Virtual Trials?

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Monday, February 24, 2020

One of the most vital indispensable issues faced by pharma companies is patient recruitment and retention in the clinical trials and has to be taken care of in the future.

Fremont, CA: Various trials in the pharma industry are being delayed and even canceled due to the recruitment rates, even for oncology trials remaining stagnant in single digits. There has been a recent advancement known as virtual trials, which can help with recruitment and retention both. Virtual trials enable the patients to participate in trials without the need to pay regular visits to a clinic, and it can also be termed as the key to better engaging patients by eliminating trial burdens. Despite the fact that the concept has been around for years, it is still met with skepticism.

There are pharma companies that are at present conducting a virtual trial in immunology, and they have taken real-world evidence (RWE) to help in enrolling the patients. The multiple daily living assessments are operationalizing several additional trials with a direct-to-patient component.

It is believed that virtual trials will overpower the traditional trials in terms of operationalization in the long run. The most substantial challenges related to these types of trials will have an impact on the sponsor companies, rather than the patients, sites, caregivers, CROs, or any other stakeholders.

Although virtual trials are meant to make studies easier for the patients, other burdens might crop up by not needing them to travel to the sites. Getting precise data from the patients is of paramount importance, equally as it is to protect the data and privacy of those patients. As all the patients are not technically sound, training can be needed. This can be a big concern while recruiting elderly patients or those who reside in rural areas. Even in-home nursing, some patients may feel that their home is not as tidy as it should be, or they have a very limited space, which is not enough for the home nurse to carry her duty. Therefore, it is essential to realize that even virtual trials can contribute to creating unique burdens for patients.

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