2018 Clinical Research Reflections
As 2018 nears an end, the impactful clinical research conversations, advancements and lessons learned from the year are on our minds. Let's take a look back at just two of the clinical trial themes that weaved through many memorable 2018 moments!
People across the research community are driving a crucial shift away from designing clinical trials with the patient perspective as a nice-to-have to one where it is a must-have. Throughout 2018 we saw strides made towards defining a framework for participatory research, with the help of people and organizations (like Emily's Entourage) dedicated to fostering collaboration between researchers, patients and caregivers. Online patient communities (like the ones spotlighted here) and campaigns such as #OnePersonCloser and #WhyWeDoResearch have also played an integral role in building momentum towards the realization of a participatory research model.
There are many names for this approach. For instance, we call Lilly's program for gathering direct patient, caregiver and researcher feedback CoDESIGN. The U.S. FDA has partnered with CTTI, the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, to create a patient engagement collaborative called PEC. And the UK uses an approach referred to as patient and public involvement (PPI). In fact, there have been studies evaluating the impact of PPI on various elements of clinical trials, and the results, not surprisingly, demonstrate the value of working to incorporate patient perspectives on research design. We hope to continue learning from and collaborating with the research community in 2019 and beyond.
Telehealth. Mobile health. Virtual trials. These were all hot topics we saw in the headlines and online conversations time and time again this past year—with no sign of slowing down. Building on the theme of participatory research, many new digital health technologies provide patients and caregivers the tools to have more control over their research experience. Whether it's the choice to participate in a trial from their own homes, incorporate wearable devices or conduct virtual visits with their research physician through a mobile device, digital health technologies are driving a clinical research transformation.
As much promise as digital health holds to improve clinical research, it's not a secret that the industry is faced with obstacles (logistical, operational and regulatory) that the community must collaborate together to overcome. That's not to say progress hasn't been achieved in 2018. In fact, an update from the FDA that we are excited about is the release of the MyStudies app for the collection of real world data. We hope to see many more apps supporting clinical research in the year to come.
Your 2018 Reflections
Now we want to hear from you!
Mention us on Twitter to let us know: What was your favorite 2018 clinical trials highlight? Is there a research topic you want to hear more about in 2019?
Thank you to all of our followers—and all those across the clinical research community—for making 2018 a meaningful and insightful year. See you in 2019!