By Michael Smyth, Division President and Corporate VP, TransPerfect Life Sciences Solutions
Whether by choice or by force, when things change and those changes make things simpler, they tend to stick. I firmly believe that on the other side of our current global challenges with COVID-19, many of the changes made by regulatory bodies, sponsors, CROs, and sites will be here to stay. In an industry that has been a bit slower than others to receive operational technology with open arms, the wave of tech adoption to enable varying degrees of remote work, collaboration, and oversight will permanently change expectations. Clinical professionals on the ground will have options that reduce their needs to travel or work on-site. CRAs can reduce travel with mobile reconciliation and remote site visits. Sites can upload verified source documents. Document specialists can code documents from home. Clinical trial managers can oversee much of their operations from their mobile devices via dashboards. Teams can receive training by LMS. Regulatory bodies are finding ways to expedite approvals and releasing new guidance regularly. Why would we look backward?
So, let’s continue to look forward. One key milestone at the start of a study is the investigator meeting, where, in some cases, well over 100 professionals may gather from various locations. Since, as a community, we are actively in the process of exploring where we can and cannot go remote, investigator meetings are a perfect example of where there is great potential.