Decentralized Clinical Trials – Why They Matter

Decentralized trials are designed to encourage patient participation by eliminating or reducing the need to travel to the research sites. A Clinical research organization like Veristat helps conduct these trials remotely, with their subjects needing less time to go to the traditional clinic or hospital. These types of trials are only possible with the advancement in technology that has led to the use of the mobile phone.

Here is a look at why decentralized clinical trials are essential:

These trials are patient-centric

Decentralized clinical trials are patient-centric, which is very different from traditional clinical trials that do not focus much on the patients. Using mobile phones and other devices to collect data ensures that physicians are always aware of the patient’s condition and do not have to wait for them to go to the clinic for an examination. This also means that the physicians can interact with the patients during the visits and get to know more about their concerns and experience with the trials. These exchanges will help the CROs learn what they can improve on to help keep the patient more comfortable.

Allows more patients to have access to the study

Traditional clinical trials often exclude diverse patient populations. Studies show that Latin American, African American, and low-income patients can be underrepresented in the trials. Their primary health care providers do not offer the trials, and some study locations are very far from their homes. You may also find that the trial schedules often interfere with their jobs. When decentralized studies are implemented correctly, they eliminate some of these barriers. Patients can check-in using apps or at-home devices. They can also make appointments with their local pharmacies for testing rather than travel long distances to the research centers. This model of conducting trials also increases the patient’s trust in the trial. Studies show that patients who work with their local health care provider or community centers are likely to believe that trial researchers care about their well-being and concerns.

Creates opportunities for new roles for digital support

With the use of technology in clinical trial sites and apps, trials are now looking to hire and train people for new roles that didn’t exist before. A great example is the digital research navigator. This role did not exist before, but it is now crucial to the success of any trial that utilizes technology. The digital navigators will guide coordinators, physicians, and patients through the new software. Patients may have access to the apps and the internet, but they might not know how to use the cloud-based software. The navigators can help the patients become more comfortable with the app and the telehealth calls. They can also create individual accommodation plans for patients that do not have computers, internet access, and cell phones.

Decentralized trials make it easy for clinical research organizations to have patient-centered trials by including diverse patients. The model has evolved researchers’ roles to innovate ways to communicate with the patient and process research data better.