Clinical research teams are constantly challenged to do more with fewer resources. This has led to an extreme delay in the research outcome. Generally speaking, it takes almost 10-12 years for a successful clinical research outcome, not to forget the associated expense of a few billion dollars. While disconnected systems are the primary cause of the delay in the outcome, there are other contributing factors too. Although clinical trials have made significant progress over the years, there is still little or no ecosystem collaboration. Sponsors have been stuck with using legacy systems, fear of data integrity, and data privacy, creating the roadblock’s primary concerns.
Moreover, different stakeholders, including clinical trial researchers, sponsors, and hospital sites, all work in silos leading to delay while diminishing the quality of the data. Finally, there has 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 project managers and data managers. This leads to further operational inefficiencies threatening data integrity. This lack of real-time collaboration, both internally among teams and externally among different stakeholders, has further added to the delay.
Delays 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. The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to it by threatening patient safety. This has now pushed different concerned stakeholders, 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.
Centralized platform: The need of the hour
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.
Single platform for every documentation
There is no denying that a clinical trial outcome’s success depends on data accessibility and data quality. A centralized 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.
Complete control over data
A centralized platform puts you in the driving seat. You have complete control and access to every bit of data. Data redundancy is automatically removed, and you’re at peace that every site has access to the latest reports. There is no scope for anomaly and data duplicity.
Fast and reliable
Apart from offering data accuracy and data authentication, a centralized platform saves time. 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.
Helps in 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.
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 have 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.
Few final words
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, 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.