Clinical trials are at the center of the majority of medical advances made today. Clinical Trials in the past greatly influenced the development of treatment being used today. However, these trials faced several challenges in the recruitment and data collection processes. This is mainly because they were done manually and the technology was not that advanced. Luckily, the current digital era has some of the best tools and practices, such as clinical development consulting that make clinical trial processes easier and more efficient. Let us look at how the shift to the digital era has affected clinical trials.
Enabling decentralized trials
One of the greatest achievements of technological innovation is enabling decentralized or at home clinical trials. These are also known as remote trials. They differ from the typical trials in that the participants do not need to go to the physical research center. Their home becomes the trial site. Participants use digital tools like mobile tools, electronic data capture systems (EDC), telemedicine, and devices that can be worn. These tools and devices are made to allow remote monitoring, data collection and management, and communication between the participant and trial staff. Through this, trials can reduce the cost of running a physical-based trial. In addition, decentralized trials offer a lot of convincing. They make it possible to recruit and retain patients from remote areas.
Use of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in clinical trials to get the most out of the devices used to collect data remotely. It is also being used in processes such as data analysis, study design, and drug development. AI systems like machine learning algorithms are taught to find trends and patterns in large datasets. This is called data analysis. This has to do with achieving the accuracy and efficiency of the data analysis process. AI systems are used in drug development to find genetic markers and the structures and properties of chemical compounds. The results are then used to develop the right drug effective in targeting the identified markers.
Use of blockchain technology
Blockchain technology is a web of systems that allows multiple parties to communicate and securely share data. The integration and complexity of this web are intended to ensure data are credible. It also helps to ensure there are no unauthorized updates made to the data. With these kinds of systems, data from clinical trials can be kept safe, shared, and used as a model for other trials. By making it harder for people to make mistakes, blockchain technology makes data sharing more open and trustworthy.
Challenges Faced in The Digital Era
Data privacy and security
The data generated by clinical trials is highly sensitive. And even though systems such as blockchain technology are helping to keep the data secure, there’s no 100% guarantee that the data will remain safe. Cyber attacks, such as hacking and data breaches, remain a threat.
The complexity of the technology
Transitioning into the digital era is a complex task. This is because the process itself is resource-intensive and requires one to know to handle it. Unfortunately, most clinical trial staff lacks the knowledge, which derails the process and prompts the need for intensive training.
Technology is expanding opportunities in the way clinical trials are conducted. It is helping to achieve efficiency, convenience, safety, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. However, there are still several challenges to overcome, such as data safety and the complexity of the technology. Addressing these challenges will further improve the integrity and safety of clinical trials.