Medicine research and clinical trials are crucial to the success and growth of healthcare industry. However, it is also the segment that faces varied economic challenges and fluctuations. Furthermore, the looming expiry of their products’ patents keeps the industry constantly on its toes and work on its operational efficiency to survive and grow.

Clinical Trials – The Cost Factor!

Clinical trials are one of the largest cost drivers in the healthcare industry. These trials are sponsored by healthcare and/ or biotech companies. According to an article published on clinical trials arena in 2018, “the average cost of moving from phase 1 to phase 3 is over $79.1 million and is as high as $52.9 million for single phase 3.” This cost may go up anytime due to various factors and it impacts the performance of the industry in a big way. Hence, it is imperative to work on cost control strategies for clinical trials.

Factors to be considered:

Streching timeline

Delays affect clinical trial budgets to a great extend and can be financially damaging too. One of the most common reasons for delays in clinical trials is patient recruitment and retention, which is quite a complicated and tough aspect of the trial. A research claims, “69% of patients final pre-screening, 58% decline consent and 8% drop out after the enrolment.” Researchers are adopting a patient-centric approach, wherein, patients’ point of view is considered. The approach would aid in patient recruitment and retention and control the delays in trial. It also emphasizes on the importance of site selection.

Logistics Decisions

Most of the clinical trials in phase 3or 4 are conducted on a large scale at a global level. And hence logistics cost comes into the picture. More often than not, the product shipment decisions are based more on previous experiences and less on the feasibility of the site. It is best to take a pragmatic approach to it and analyze if it would be feasible to ship the product to clinical site directly or make sense to have a local depot there. Prior study may be factored in, although may have less or zero relevance to a new trial. Instead, a study must be conducted on demand and supply for the site and the logistics and operational costs must be evaluated before deciding.

Interactive Response Technology (IRT)

Automating the processes through IRT can bring down the costs significantly. It reduces manual oversights, the risks of stock outages and aids in supply management. IRT systems can be programmed to monitor depot inventories, batch expiries and keep supply managers updated about the it through alerts. IRTs can be custom-built to provide real-time feed on varied aspects of operations in clinical trials including stocks, supply-chain, shipment, etc. This small investment can optimize the operations greatly and aid in cost control. It also simplifies the entire complexity of the tedious processes.
Cost control and increasing operational efficacies are the key to profitability of any clinical trial. And there are several opportunities to pursue this goal. A tactical approach and its successful execution would mean saving millions of dollars and improved worth of the drug in investigation.

How technology is helping to put patients at the center of Clinical Trials

Last two decades has witnessed many businesses capitalize on technological solutions to improve their processes and profitability; and healthcare industry is no different. Technological solutions have added a great deal of value to the healthcare industry. Their application in clinical trials have not only boosted the operational efficacies but also aided in patient centricity.
Patient centricity ensures factoring patients’ point of view and puts them at the center of the trial. Patient-experience is very crucial for better clinical trial and drug outcome. However, factors such as patients’ data confidentiality, regulations and compliance issues, inaccessibility of patients at the required time have posed a challenge to this novel approach. IOT driven technology has come to offer a solution and is helping more and more researchers adopt the approach and improve their processes.

Information Sharing

Patient recruitment is a tasking process and researchers have to put in lot of efforts in order to provide important information about the trial. Lack of clarity in this communication can make it leave the patients in ambiguity and make the recruitment process more challenging. Patients need to be provided information, which is simple, to the point and easy to understand. Here, using digital medium eases things out for them. A short audio-visual presentation on the matter with necessary details would certainly improve the patient experience; it enables them to comprehend every aspect of the trial and facilitates their decision-making process.

Onboarding Patients with Technology

Use of technology in clinical trials for onboarding certainly alleviates the experience for patients. Onboarding requires patients to sign a consent form. In the past, these were required at multiple stages and considering everything was manual, a lot of paperwork was involved, making it quite taxing. Technology has taken the entire consent process digital. The advanced Electronic Content Systems (ECS) for clinical trials are patient-friendly and regulatory compliant that enables patients to fill their consent forms online, automating the process of patient enrollment and making it faster and efficient. Such systems lessen the administrative workload via improved consent tracking management and reducing informed consent errors.

Eliminating Distance Issues

Technology has eliminated the distance issues and is aiding clinical researchers find and reach out to the patients world-wide. For a successful patient-centric clinical trial, finding the right quality and number of patients is must. With mobile technology and IOT, location of the patient is becoming immaterial. Technology has made it possible to connect with global patients in eloquent ways and collect larger volume and better-quality data through virtual trials.
While more advanced technological applications are still needed, technology has certainly aided patient centricity in clinical trials, enabling better quality studies and results. It has had a positive and encouraging impact on the patients’ experience.

 How technology is helping to put patients at the center of Clinical Trials

Last two decades has witnessed many businesses capitalize on technological solutions to improve their processes and profitability; and healthcare industry is no different. Technological solutions have added a great deal of value to the healthcare industry. Their application in clinical trials have not only boosted the operational efficacies but also aided in patient centricity.

Patient centricity ensures factoring patients’ point of view and puts them at the center of the trial. Patient-experience is very crucial for better clinical trial and drug outcome. However, factors such as patients’ data confidentiality, regulations and compliance issues, inaccessibility of patients at the required time have posed a challenge to this novel approach. IOT driven technology has come to offer a solution and is helping more and more researchers adopt the approach and improve their processes.

Information Sharing

Patient recruitment is a tasking process and researchers have to put in lot of efforts in order to provide important information about the trial. Lack of clarity in this communication can make it leave the patients in ambiguity and make the recruitment process more challenging. Patients need to be provided information, which is simple, to the point and easy to understand. Here, using digital medium eases things out for them. A short audio-visual presentation on the matter with necessary details would certainly improve the patient experience; it enables them to comprehend every aspect of the trial and facilitates their decision-making process.

Onboarding Patients with Technology

Use of technology in clinical trials for onboarding certainly alleviates the experience for patients. Onboarding requires patients to sign a consent form. In the past, these were required at multiple stages and considering everything was manual, a lot of paperwork was involved, making it quite taxing. Technology has taken the entire consent process digital. The advanced Electronic Content Systems (ECS) for clinical trials are patient-friendly and regulatory compliant that enables patients to fill their consent forms online, automating the process of patient enrollment and making it faster and efficient. Such systems lessen the administrative workload via improved consent tracking management and reducing informed consent errors.

Eliminating Distance Issues

Technology has eliminated the distance issues and is aiding clinical researchers find and reach out to the patients world-wide. For a successful patient-centric clinical trial, finding the right quality and number of patients is must. With mobile technology and IOT, location of the patient is becoming immaterial. Technology has made it possible to connect with global patients in eloquent ways and collect larger volume and better-quality data through virtual trials.

While more advanced technological applications are still needed, technology has certainly aided patient centricity in clinical trials, enabling better quality studies and results. It has had a positive and encouraging impact on the patients’ experience.