Article | March 30, 2021

Top 5 Challenges Of Decentralized Clinical Trials And How To Overcome Them

By James Streeter, global vice president life sciences product strategy, Oracle

Medical data risk iStock-1185375169

As COVID-19 began to spread around the world, life sciences organizations conducting clinical trials had to quickly adopt remote data collection technologies and processes to keep patients safe and clinical trials running. As a result, 2020 saw many organizations adopting decentralized clinical trial models, even if they had never done so before. The big question now is to what extent these new approaches can remain in place once the pandemic is under control.

Virtual approaches come with a multitude of advantages. Patients tend to find virtual clinic visits and the ability to collect data at home more convenient, which can help increase the number and diversity of people willing to participate in a clinical study while also upping retention. Remote data collection also opens the potential to collecting a great deal more information than is available during the small moments in time when patients are in the clinic. This provides investigators with valuable patient insights and allows sponsors to answer their scientific questions even faster.

As we begin to look beyond the pandemic, it is important to take a closer look at some of the hurdles faced in implementing decentralized trials and how to address them. To gain insight into this area, Informa Pharma Intelligence and Oracle Health Sciences conducted a survey of biopharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, and medical device companies involved in clinical trials around the world. The survey was conducted between September and November 2020 and included 252 qualified respondents, mostly from North America and Europe.

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