Welcome to Trial Trends™, a monthly podcast brought to you by 4G Clinical and hosted by Kathleen Greenough, Senior Director of Client Solutions, and Libbi Rickenbacher, Director of Strategy! The show welcomes guests from all over to tackle big ideas, challenge the status quo, and bring fresh perspectives to the rapidly changing world of clinical trials. Get ready to disrupt the old ways of thinking and discover the newest trial trends! In today’s episode, Kathleen and Libbi have a conversation with Simon West-Bulford, director of test automation at 4G Clinical, about the evolution of randomization technology and how modern RTSM systems have developed to address the high degree of complexity found in today's clinical trials.
Simon brings over 33 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to the table, with 20 of those years being focused on interactive response technologies. He takes into account the whole span of his career as he first defines IRT and RTSM for listeners, sharing how early forms of IRT (Interactive Response Technology) gave rise to RTSM (Randomization and Trial Supply Management). The evolution in technology coincided with evolution in how trials were conducted, and Simon explains how he has seen both sides of this evolution progress over time. He focused much of his own efforts on the supply aspect of trials, working on the innovative SPARC project while at GSK, engaging with both Ramos and Trident, and watching different supply organizations push each other to innovate.
While Simon saw clinical trials themselves grow in complexity over time, he notes that the experience of working in the shifting clinical trials industry was not just a matter of trials becoming more complicated. In some instances, advances in technology allowed more complex studies to be made; in other words, technology advanced first, and those creating clinical trials had newfound freedom to explore the use cases for that technology. As he looks to the future, Simon expects to see still more evolution in both technology and clinical trials. The current demand for flexibility and speed in the clinical trial space will, he believes, lead to further automation. Other topics of interest in the space involve personalized medication, the push toward decentralization, and how to use nanotechnology. With so many new ideas and tools in the medical field and the tech space, the sky’s the limit for the clinical trial field and the tech developers helping it to advance!