Covid-related changes to clinical trials here to stay

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to improvements in clinical trial processes and a more technology-driven approach, a new report from Medidata has revealed.

The report ‘European Industry Research Report: The Future of Clinical Trials’ includes insights from 400 clinical trial executives across the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The findings from the research indicate that the clinical trials of the future will include decentralised elements and be more reliant on technologies like artificial intelligence, but also increasingly patient-centric.

As a result of the pandemic companies and sites conducting clinical trials were forced to look at leveraging technology to overcome challenges.

Key findings from the survey

More than a third of respondents (37%) ranked better outcomes of clinical trials since the pandemic as within the top three areas of improvement, and 36% said recruitment and enrollment into trials are also better.

The vast majority of respondents (99.7%) agreed that all or some improvements to the clinical trial process as a result of the pandemic are here to stay.

The average number of studies including at least one decentralised technology before the pandemic was 43%, the current average is 55%. Respondents said the benefits of this approach include better compliance and governance adherence (42%), improved patient recruitment and retention (41%), and improved patient experience and engagement (41%).

Of those surveyed, 92% said clinical trials in their country always or frequently rely on technology, while 36% pointed to AI as the tech that holds the most promise in the future of clinical research.

Most respondents (92%) believed clinical trials are more patient-centric following the pandemic and 42% of respondents ranked patient centricity within the top three key industry trends.

Research embracing technology

“Our new research shows the resilience of the industry, how it implemented its learnings from the pandemic and how it is embracing technology for the benefit of patients,” said Pete Buckman, EMEA Site Leader and Senior Vice President of Professional Services at Medidata. 

“By continuing to challenge current models, investing in new technologies and collaborating across all stakeholders, the industry can further improve clinical trial processes and, in turn, the outcomes. The future of clinical trials and drug development looks bright.”

The research was compiled by independent research firm Vanson Bourne and sponsored by Medidata.

You can download the research report here and the accompanying infographic here.

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