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August 14, 2019

Site Voice | Innovations in Clinical Research

Did you know it took the telephone 65 years to penetrate 40% of the market, while it took cell phones less than 10?

It is no secret that the rate of adoption of new technology is speeding up. In fact, there are many clear factors influencing why the rate of adoption of cell phones was quicker than its stationary counterpart (accessibility, costs, infrastructure, etc.). That's the beauty of digital innovation. Unlike physical innovation, such as the wheel, digital technology continues to be more accessible and more affordable, with the infrastructure to support easier adoption across the board.

But technology's latest advancements are not siloed. They are making their way into other industries as well, even those that are seemingly conservative and risk-averse, such as clinical research.

During our inaugural Site Advisory Group, hosted in partnership with SCRS, sites discussed what innovation looks like in the clinical research environment. Here are three technological trends impacting site operations today.

1. Social media

With Facebook users at an all-time high (2.38 Billion monthly users), it's no surprise that social platforms are shaping the way we communicate with patients and the way patients communicate with each other. Social media is bringing together patient populations, generating awareness of existing clinical trials, and impacting the recruitment process.

2. Apps

Online applications are starting to become more common in the clinical setting. Whether a source for drug accountability and compliance or patient data intake (eCOA, IRT, etc.), there are countless ways that apps can be utilized to streamline site operations and reduce manual data capture.

That being said, sponsors must continue to be cognizant of internet/wifi capabilities. If a device is dependent on wifi to function, issues with connectivity may result in manual workarounds or delayed data collection until the connection has returned.


3. Wearables/Devices

Wearable devices and ePRO software are changing the way data is captured. A trial participant no longer needs to visit a site in order for information to be collected. Now, patients can wear devices with sensors to passively collect data such as heart rate, physical activity, and movement, use smart-capped bottles to track pill dispensing, or input data directly into an app all from the comfort of their own home.

The key to all of this great innovation within clinical research is flexibility. If the innovation influences an important part of the site's responsibilities, it is likely a process for it is already in place. If technology forces change, rather than enables it, sites will have a greater challenge with adoption.


For more insight into the site perspective, view our collection of site voice videos.


Tag(s): Industry Voices

Sabrina Fei

Sabrina Fei, 4G Clinical Senior Marketing Manager, has 6 years of experience in B2B healthcare marketing. Prior to joining the 4G team, Sabrina worked at a life sciences event organization, where she led a team of marketers to generate and implement impactful, multifaceted marketing strategies.

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