In recent years, biopharmaceutical organisations have successfully introduced various breakthrough treatments to market. However, industry stakeholders are questioning the sustainability of the present high-risk and costly R&D model.
Many clinical trials are still dependent on the old practices. Also, many R&D activities have yet to wholly tap onto the real-world evidence (RWE), genomics information and emerging data sources such as the Internet of Things (IoT), variables, mobile apps etc. Digital technologies are capable of changing the way biopharma companies engage, implement and innovate during the clinical trial process by addressing the challenges faced by sponsors, investigators, and trial staff, including those affecting patient identification, recruitment and retention during the trial period.
As patients’ expectations emerge, they are more likely to request for a more inclusive and customised trial experience. Digital technologies can entirely enhance patience experience and support other patient-centric intent by making trial participating less burdensome and redefining how patient care is delivered during clinical trials.
Engaging patients for clinical trials has also become increasingly challenging. The traditional recruitment methods have been proved to be ineffective in garnering study participants who represent real-world cohorts. Digital technologies can help to cut back on the effort and cost needed for patient identification and assist to engage a more diverse and representative study population. Some solutions can help patients find trials, while other help investigators source for patients.
Biopharma companies could also garner more information from trial participants by treating them as collaborators instead of subjects and by seeking their opinion on issues such as overcoming research mistrust and resolving patient-specific concerns with regards to study design. Many progressive clinical teams are tapping on digital technologies to measure patient-centric endpoints.
In addition, virtual trials allow patients to partake in some studies from the comfort of their homes, reducing or even eliminating the need to travel to sites. Such trials take advantage of social media, e-consent, telemedicine, apps, and biosensors to contact patients and advocate both passive and active data collection. Digital tools also enhance clinical trial patient care and treatment adherence within the trial period. Digital adherence tools leverage on facial recognition to guarantee the consumption of medicine and create non-adherence alerts to investigators.
The digitalization of clinical development can be complex, resource-intensive and tedious pursuit, but the benefits can be significant. However, given the complexity of implementing a digital strategy and the industry’s relatively slow pace of digital adoption, an unseemly delay could lead biopharma companies to be at a competitive disadvantage.
Source: Clinical Leader
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