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Virtual trials increase the patient pool's size and diversity, accelerate recruiting, and create more informative, clinically relevant data.
FREMONT, CA: Traditional clinical trials that adopt sequential processes are widely accepted and are proven to stick to the industry standards to ensure the efficacy and safety of new medicines, but imagine participating in a clinical trial that does not require trail subjects to travel to a clinical research facility or doctor's office. This is possible through virtual clinical trials through technology devices and social engagement platforms to conduct tests from a patient's home. These processes offer new opportunities for a patient-centric approach to clinical research.
Virtual clinical trials represent a relatively new way of collecting safety and efficacy data from clinical trial participants. These trials take full advantage of technologies and online social engagement platforms to conduct each stage of the clinical trial from the comfort of the patient's home. It includes recruitment, informed consent, patient counseling, through to measuring clinical endpoints and adverse reactions. By depending on electronic processes, virtually conducted clinical trials offer opportunities for a more patient-centered approach.
There are several advantages that virtual trials have over the conventional model, which uses multiple study sites and needs numerous patient visits to the site to conduct the study protocol. The most obvious benefit is that the virtual trial design increases patient availability and enrollment in the study. Patient recruitment and enrollment is often the longest stage of a clinical trial, with almost 80 percent of trials failing to meet initial targets. The convenience of a virtual method will increase the number of patients willing and able to enroll. Another advantage to virtual trials is their potential to keep subjects engaged with the study.
Virtual trials also offer the ability to mitigate risk in the drug development process. Data from remote monitoring devices will be accessed by trial investigators in real-time, opening up efficiencies in data cleaning, which could move to an on-going process. Remote monitoring abilities could facilitate an adaptive clinical trial method, enabling improvements in trial design based on the accumulating data. Decisions to stop a drug's development will also be made faster, enhancing patient safety and reducing expenditure on failed trials that have become the norm in the drug discovery process.