By Blake Adams
“Within hours, our clinical operations had to be fully remote. Patients couldn’t come on-site. Our team couldn’t get into the clinic. But we had to keep our studies on track and needed to continue to monitor patient safety,” says Catherine Gregor, Director of Clinical Research Administration for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
While Catherine was referring to a winter storm that shut her state down, the same thing happened worldwide when the COVID-19 pandemic forcibly shut down clinical operations. “Thankfully, we had put technology in place to mitigate COVID, so we were able to wake up this morning and pivot to fully remote operations in an hour,” says Catherine.
This new reality can be heard daily in conversations among study sites, sponsors, and CROs working in the clinical trial research environment. COVID forced the adoption of new technology across industries, but in clinical research, where innovation is historically slow, COVID forced the jump ten years or more before expected.