Clinical research organizations like Veristat have embraced virtual clinical trials, also known as decentralized clinical trials. Industry leaders are taking full advantage of technology to make research trials easier and seamless for both the patient and the sponsors.
Virtual clinical trials are characterized by patients performing most study activities from home instead of traveling to the research sites. The clinical trials rely on remote monitoring and on-demand medical services. This article will dive deeper into the tech options CROs can utilize today for a successful virtual trial.
There has been significant development in wearable devices and sensors used to collect and monitor patient data in a non-invasive and convenient manner. Participants now use skin patches, smart watches, and smart clothing to monitor vital measurements such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, ECG, respiratory rate, and glucose levels. Additionally, wearables measure movement based on metrics such as gait, tremors, and seizures. These wearable devices are paired with virtual trial platforms and other eClinical software to store and keep track of patient data. The investigators and research staff can quickly review the data from the various platforms.
Artificial intelligence / virtual reality
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its application in data analysis enhance the virtual trial value chain. It enhances virtual reality devices that offer more interaction and participant involvement when creating a controlled testing environment. Virtual reality allows investigators to observe patient reactions and outcomes once provided with specific interactions and simulations. Virtual reality is pretty popular in neurological disorder clinical trials.
Telemedicine grew in popularity in use during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows patients to connect and receive care from the clinicians while minimizing interaction and the risk of transmission. It has been a vital tool to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on clinical trials and reduce disruption. Telemedicine utilizes telehealth technology for remote doctor visits for clinical trials. This allows participants in different geographical locations to quickly get in touch with the research team without traveling. They can efficiently complete questionnaires through the telehealth platforms and observe the participants’ responses to different triggers.
Some virtual clinical trials also use apps to record participant data. The participants or patients will download the apps and answer questions to record their vital signs, such as their heart rate. The research team will use the data collected to review the effects of the treatment. Health apps offer an easy way of filing the required information using any device that supports the app. It also allows the research team to review the info uploaded instantaneously. Other apps remind the patients or participants to take the study medication and a particular time and note in the app once they take the medicines. This way, the clinical team can stay on top of the study without bothering the participants. Researchers are also able to quickly evaluate the effects of the medication base on how long you have been taking the medications
Technology has revolutionized clinical trials with the fast adoption of virtual trials. Thanks to different tech options, patients can now participate in different geographical locations can participate in clinical trials virtually.