By Jim Streeter, global vice president life sciences product strategy, Oracle
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many clinical trial teams were forced to quickly find remote methods for collecting data and conducting visits so they could keep patients safe and enrolled in trials that were already underway. This swift transition to virtual clinical trials demonstrated that these approaches are not only possible but can bring real benefits to research studies. It also showed that many of the necessary technologies are mature enough to support these approaches in a practical way.
Importantly, the pandemic also forced pharmaceutical companies, which are understandably careful about making changes that might affect drug approval or increase cost, to look beyond the risks and embrace these new technologies. Regulatory agencies are also now more accepting of changes to how clinical trials have always been done. Together, this creates a climate that is ideal for examining the best way forward for virtual clinical trials and new types of data collection.