Article | April 10, 2023

Unified Platforms Make Global Clinical Trials Possible

By: Elias Tharakan, DSG

GettyImages-1477482188 health platform

The technology supporting hybrid and decentralized clinical trials makes it possible to conduct clinical trials almost anywhere. However, this technology also creates problems if it involves time-consuming integrations, lengthy start-up times, or specialized staff. Choosing a user-friendly, unified eClinical solution is crucial to making hybrid and DCTs expedient and cost-effective.

Frankenstein’s Monster vs. a Single Solution

eClinical solutions manage many data types, from consent forms to participant data to aggregating data and compiling reports. Many sponsors choose individual vendors for each process, thinking they need specialists for each aspect. Vendors may promise to integrate their platforms with others, but this does not create a unified platform. Instead, eClinical solutions are stitched together into a Frankenstein’s monster of disparate parts.

First, each vendor has their project timeline, and sponsors must wait until each component is ready before launching the study. Also, the systems must share data, meaning each vendor must integrate their system with the other vendors’ platforms. This adds time to the study build, and the unrelated systems sometimes communicate poorly, even with these integrations.

Secondly, building each system individually costs more money at the outset and during the study. Multiple vendors mean multiple budgets, and the additional time for custom integrations adds to the total price tag. Additionally, clinical trial staff must be trained in various platforms, making it harder to recruit and retain staff. Given the high rates of clinical staff attrition, sponsors will save money in the long run by ensuring that site staff is not overburdened.

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