The importance of virtual clinical trials in a post-covid world
Virtual clinical trials were not born from Covid, but the onset of the pandemic certainly enhanced the need for remote clinical investigations. As quickly as the Covid-19 virus spread, organisations such as the FDA and World Health Organisation began to advocate the importance of virtual data collection. The life sciences UK industry participated in this development, and a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine was delivered in record time as a result.
In a post-Covid world, virtual clinical trials remain crucial to the life sciences industry and are expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2022 to 2030.
This statistic confirms the success of virtual clinical trials and supports the following benefits of the service:
Virtual clinical trials provide patients and test-candidates with the option of conducting trials from the comfort of their own homes. This is beneficial to patients with mobility issues but also reduces the spread of any contagious diseases that are being tested.
Many scientists also found that remote trials make candidates more willing to participate and thus grant greater access to an increased number of patients by physicians and trial staff.
According to the National Library of Medicine, a 2020 study found the average cost per patient participant at a physical clinical trial location to be £35.24.
Virtual data collection reduces the need to meet overhead costs of physical trial sites. While a single base or clinic may still be necessary to accommodate trial staff, the reduced number of sites in multi-site trials significantly lower operating costs by:
Shortening enrolment periods
Reducing patient drop-out rates
Expediting data collection and accuracy
Reducing the need for onsite management
Virtual trials allow doctors and scientists to research a broader and diverse category of patients. Technology knows no bounds, and even the most rural locations can be accessed remotely. Life sciences professionals are now finding that they have access to more extensive patient data than before, allowing them to refine the accuracy of their research.
Limitations and logistics challenges have been eased by the implementation of virtual clinical trials, which act as bridges between services and monitoring convenience.
Pharmacovigilance teams across the globe are reaping the benefits of better data collection, faster timelines, improved safety reviews, and new endpoints and measures. This real-time data efficacy is helping these scientists to improve drug and medical device development and deliverability. This is mostly because virtual clinical trials are combined with cloud computing and data software to collect, store, and organise information in real-time while the patient is home completing the trial course.
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