Are Accelerated Trials The New Normal?

DCTs are game-changers that are here to stay. They have greatly improved clinical trials by putting patients’ needs first. For example, they have made it easier for patients to participate in trials, improved clinical efficiency, and ensured the drug-to-market process was speeded up for patients. As the pandemic subsides and normalcy resumes, it will be crucial for EBPs to work with the right CRO to facilitate a seamless transition from either entirely traditional clinical trials and DCTs into a hybrid model. Due to the rush to do clinical trials during and after the pandemic and the increased competition between biotech companies, decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) have grown fast. Given that their popularity is potentially a game changer, what are the main trends, factors, and advantages of using decentralized clinical trials?

Shift in DCT implementation

Meeting patients where they are in clinical trials predates the epidemic and improves patient experience and convenience. In the past, clinical trials were organized around the site investigator. Trial participants visited academic health facilities where investigators and diagnostic tools were concentrated at brick-and-mortar trial sites on recurring schedules based on operational convenience rather than disease natural history. However, several ever-evolving technologies and services have made it possible to bring clinical trials closer to patients. Investigators can stay in touch with trial participants via electronic consent, tele-healthcare, remote patient monitoring, and eCOAs. Mobile, home, and alternative-care facilities allow more treatments away from research centers. This paradigm accelerates Veristat clinical research, with some emerging Biopharmas (EBPs) using decentralized clinical trials as a contingency solution and others adopting them during clinical trial consulting and planning.

The benefits of decentralized trials

DCTs’ strengths lie in their patient-centered approach to trial development. With DCTs, patients get a more streamlined experience from start to finish, which boosts their engagement and happiness while alleviating their burdens (such as travel time and costs). Virtual clinical trials improve patient compliance and retention, accelerate trial completion, and provide more access to new patients who might not otherwise participate. Technology platforms that serve as improved interaction channels and provide on-demand access to real-time patient progress are another way in which decentralized trials can lighten the load on sites. In addition, investigators conducting DCTs have access to streamlined workflows that can be tailored to their specific needs.

The future of DCTs

The pandemic accelerated the implementation of DCTs, which are now integral to clinical research. However, because some people prefer having a clinician examine them, there will always be a place for in-person trials. Because of this, hybrid trial models, which combine traditional in-person meetings with online resources, have become standard practice in clinical research. Also, people who live in remote areas can use hybrid DCTs to have virtual appointments with their doctors at the primary care center, where their conversation is recorded.

With more people using DCTs, reporting accuracy and data security will continue to be crucial in eliminating any data concerns. To ensure that trial staff and researchers have an accurate view of each patient’s study, it’s also important to give them rigorous training on the new technology platforms.