The Need for a Centralized Platform in Clinical Trials

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Introduction:

Clinical research teams engaged in clinical trials are constantly challenged to do more with fewer resources. This has led to an extreme delay in the research outcome. Frankly, it takes almost 10-12 years for a successful clinical trial outcome, not to forget the associated investment of a few billion dollars.

What are the reasons for clinical trial delayed outcomes?

While disconnected systems are the primary cause of the delay in the outcome, there are other contributing factors too. The clinical trial industry has made significant progress over the years, however, there is still little or no ecosystem collaboration. Sponsors have been stuck with using legacy systems, fear of data integrity, and data privacy, with reduced clinical trial success or delayed trial outcomes.

Moreover, different stakeholders, including clinical trial researchers, sponsors, and hospital sites, all work in silos leading to delay while diminishing the quality of clinical trial data. Finally, there have been no secure, centralized platforms for collaboration among various stakeholders concerned.

Perhaps we all will agree that there have been disconnected international processes for CROs along with a disconnect between clinical trial project managers and data managers. This leads to further operational inefficiencies threatening the data integrity of the clinical testings. This lack of real-time collaboration both internally and externally further added to the inefficient studies.

Delays in clinical trial management are caused due to lack of enough data due to geographical restrictions, manual data entry, and re-entry, redundancy of data have been other contributing factors creating a delay.

How has COVID-19 pushed clinical trials to innovation?

The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to it by threatening patient safety while clinical testings. This has now pushed different concerned stakeholders of the clinical research, including CROs, hospital sites, clinical researchers, and sponsors, to adapt to a centralized clinical trial management system.

What people had been contemplating for years has now become an absolute necessity to adapt and embrace across the clinical trial phases.

Why is a centralized platform essential in a clinical trial?

An integrated centralized platform helps keep all the stakeholders rooted together throughout a clinical trial procedure. It encourages collaboration and facilitates communications between stakeholders, thus enabling a quicker approach.

A centralized clinical trial management system can streamline workflows while maintaining data integrity, patient safety, and full visibility.

Here are some of the benefits of having one single, centralized platform for clinical trial management.

  • A centralized platform offers a one-stop-view for all clinical data

There is no denying that a clinical trial outcome’s success depends on data accessibility and data quality. A centralized clinical trial system is an easily accessible repository where all stakeholders can collaborate in real-time and transfer day-to-day study data.

It creates a secure data repository for your sites, patients, CROs, sponsors, and everyone involved. Data may include training materials for patients, study protocols, the latest findings, etc.

  • A centralized system enables complete control over clinical trial data

A centralized clinical trial platform puts you in the driving seat. You have complete control and access to every bit of clinical trial data.

Data redundancy is automatically removed, and you’re at peace that every clinical site has access to the latest clinal study reports. There is no scope for anomaly and data duplicity.

  • Centralized platforms enable speed and reliability 

Apart from offering data accuracy and data authentication, a centralized platform saves time for the entire clinical trial. Rather than digging around for the latest data, anyone can access it quickly irrespective of their geographical location. It also creates an opportunity for real-time ecosystem collaboration within clinical testing.

  • A centralized ecosystem enables  scalability

A centralized system helps in scalability. Once done for a handful of patients, a centralized platform can accommodate any number of patients for trials irrespective of their location. This ensures a better outcome of the study.

  • The centralized platform ensures compliance adherence

A centralized platform helps in achieving better compliance by identifying missing data or data outliers. It can help quickly detect any unexpected protocol deviations. Thus, it promotes a better communication system between sponsors, researchers, CROs, and anyone else who needs to know.

A centralized platform saves your staff from being bombarded with emails stuffed with new information they are likely to miss. A centralized repository can be accessed instantly while you can see immediately if the site staff has received the essential documents you want them to see. This means you have a full audit trail of documents distributed and read by the intended members.

Conclusion

The need for a centralized platform has always been there. However, sponsors had been reluctant to adapt to it for multiple reasons — data privacy being one of the major concerns.

But with the pandemic hitting the world hard and social distancing becoming the new normal. Therefore, leveraging and adapting to different technologies such as centralized platforms for better clinical trial management is becoming critical. It is cost-effective and has greater patient enrolment and retention possibility, making the future of clinical trials promising.

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