Krutikesh Age is the Co-Founder at DPHS Pvt. Ltd. He is a researcher and a visionary committed towards propelling the field of clinical research and healthcare expansion in India. As the Co-founder of DPHS, Krutikesh manages varied key roles including Leadership, developing business and marketing strategies and Networking to name a few. It is through his deep understanding of clinical research and market dynamics that he has been instrumental in expanding the operations of DPHS in the past few years.
The pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are both being disrupted by new technologies. Innovative developments in several technological fields can greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical trials on many levels. Increasingly, technology is enabling us to create better treatments and interventions.
Technology and Clinical Trials: Meeting the Challenges
Although technological innovation can provide solutions to the challenges facing clinical trials, the sector is slow to adopt new technologies. Technology has been used in clinical trials for decades, and discussions have taken place about how to implement new innovations and how they impact trials for decades.
Recent years have seen an increase in the supply of technology, and the regulations for its use have been loosened. Clinical trials have also been fueled by increasing demands for technological innovation by concerns about rising costs, higher failure rates, and the emergence of patient-centric trials. Clinical trials are utilizing new technologies in areas including wearable technology, Big Data analytics, AI, synthetic biology, telemedicine, and mobile communication.
Technology has made clinical trials easier. In addition to recruiting and retaining more patients, improving patient experience, capturing more data, and providing remote patient monitoring, these initiatives improve the patient experience. It is also possible to decentralize trials and to adopt a more patient-centric approach, as, the breakthrough technologies easily met the challenges trials face in the new normal brought about by COVID-19.
Recruiting patients in clinical trials became easier with mobile communications. Remote communities can access clinical trials if a stable connection is available and distance issues are overcome. CROs can also take advantage of social media’s presence to improve outreach and recruitment to diverse populations, including historically under-served communities. Electronic data capture, electronic informed consent, and electronic clinical outcome assessment are other technologies that can help with recruitment.
Capturing patient data
Wearable medical devices, smartphone apps, and mobile devices can improve patient data capturing. Clinical trials are based on patient data, which provides insight into Directions for research and clinical outcomes. With the help of wearable devices, users can automate data monitoring, and central data hubs can capture large amounts of data that would otherwise be difficult to collect. Information can be accessed virtually from multiple locations and organizations can keep an eye on data statistically.
In order to increase trial efficiency, clinical data should be improved and patient engagement should be enhanced. Smart sensors, VR (Virtual Reality), and ML(machine learning) can also be used to enhance clinical trials through data capture.
A patient-centeric approach
Recent years have seen a paradigm shift in clinical trials as patient-centric trials have increased. Innovations in technology have greatly contributed to this shift toward a patient-centric approach. Patients are encouraged to participate in these trials, thanks to significant investments in digital technology.
Wearables and mHealth technologies have contributed to the shift in trial design, making small trials possible. Clinical researchers supply participants with mobile phones or apps that handle everything from enrollment to treatment administration and follow-up.
Trials relying on remote monitoring have gained a lot of attention following the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to limit disease spread through social distancing. Researchers are increasingly using remote site access and monitoring tools. Clinical research organizations, sponsors, and research sites can be linked remotely. It is possible to reduce the cost of clinical trials, make them more efficient & less draining for participants, and understand patient reactions & conditions more thoroughly & meaningfully by using remote monitoring.
A decentralized approach to clinical trials
It is necessary to modify conventional trial rules in order to conduct decentralized clinical trials. Both participants and sites can access these next-generation trials through technologies such as telemedicine and mobile devices. It can be referred to as a hybrid study because some of the visits are conducted remotely from the home of the participant.
Patients’ compliance and their level of technological knowledge are risks associated with decentralized trials. However, the logistical challenges of shipping, transportation, and access to remote populations are overcome with this type of clinical trial.
The Impact of Wearable Medical Technology
Wearable medical technology and telehealth has vast potential for the future of clinical trials. Innovation and growth has led to the increasing uptake of wearable devices in the clinical sector, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology has proven extremely useful for the continuation of vital clinical trials.
It has become increasingly important for clinical trials to collect and store real-world data from patients, and wearables and associated technologies have proven invaluable in this regard. Manufacturers and clinical research organizations need to work together to improve the viability of wearable devices and data collection so that they can continue to have an impact on future trials.
As clinical trials decentralize and include more remote elements partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new and breakthrough technologies have advanced clinical trials exponentially in recent years. Furthermore, pharma companies are spending more on big data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies, which are transforming R&D and reducing costs. In order to advance clinical research, new technologies need to be adopted.