By Ryan Ridge, YPrime
Typically, the purpose of Interactive Response Technology (IRT) is twofold, functioning as both a trial supply management technology and as a tool to enable optimized patient randomization. The IRT generates information based on patient data to inform trial logistics, whether related to the volume of drug substance that must be shipped to a repository or clinical site, or to determine which patients are set to receive a treatment and when. This contrasts with traditional trial supply management, which has historically been enacted by individual personnel assigned a set number of trial participants to manage manually. As clinical trials continue to grow in number and complexity, the value of an IRT for a given sponsor may compound, enabling fewer personnel needed to manage logistics while reducing the potential for error.
Within the larger framework of a trial’s management, IRTs are very niche. Yet their importance in the overall administration of a trial cannot be overlooked – an IRT, poorly calibrated for a trial design or logistical paradigm, can serve to invalidate a trial. Yet many of the IRTs employed across the clinical trial space today are largely unchanged from those introduced a decade or more ago, built around monolithic code bases and updated to introduce new functionality. This has the potential to create significant lift for vendors and sponsors, but new IRT models, built around discrete microservices, have emerged to address many of the challenges that exist for traditional IRT systems, which can likewise be better streamlined through improved vendor support.