To improve your experience on Lilly TrialGuide, please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer, with JavaScript enabled.
This website is not optimized for your browser, as configured.

Clinical Trials: A De-Centralized Response

A De-centralized Response Featured Image

I recently wrote about my experiences at the SCRS Site Solutions Summit back in October 2019, and one of the topics I discussed was decentralized trials and how it felt like they were progressing fairly slowly. Data at the Summit suggested that less than 15% of sites had experience with trials that had some component of virtualization. My guess is that at the 2020 Summit (hopefully, in a post-quarantine world), that number will be significantly higher.

The shifting landscape of clinical trials

Among the many amazing responses and reactions I have seen the Pharma industry initiate in the wake of the global pandemic is the acceleration of home health services, telemedicine, and remote data collection to address and enable social distancing for the safety of patients and site personnel. It's unfortunate that the use case had to present itself in such a catastrophic manner; however, it is exciting to see Pharma companies, sites, and technology/service vendors rally to the call.

ADeCentralizedResponse Part1 17Apr2020 (1)

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Some of the inventions I have seen get off the ground in a (very!) short time include:

  • Discovering ways to deliver investigational product directly to patients in their homes
  • Deploying mobile nurses (with the appropriate PPE) to patients’ homes to help with drug administration
  • Lab sample collection
  • Safety monitoring

ADeCentralizedResponse Part2 17Apr2020 (1)

I have seen site personnel risk, or offer to risk, their own safety for the benefit of their patients by traveling to homes to deliver medicine and supplies. I have even seen technology and service companies offer their services pro bono in order to support mitigation efforts. These are amazing stories of amazing people who have their hearts in the right place and their heads fully in the game during a difficult time. I am grateful for those around me who have looked to shine a little light on a terrible situation.

Looking forward

As we work toward a post-pandemic world, I am interested to see how these responses accelerate the implementation of decentralized trials and sustain the momentum created in these difficult times. I expect there will be a lot of lasting effects - hopefully more positive than not. The quick adoption and scaling of decentralized trials will be one of the positive outcomes of having to look at the world of clinical trials in a different way.

One final note: If you read my previous post, you may remember something I quoted from one of the patient representatives. She said, "Clinical research has to fit into your life." I think that statement takes on a whole new meaning as life as we know it has been turned upside down. Decentralized trials are meeting that challenge at a rapid pace.

Tags: Decentralized trials, Digital, Digital health,

Recent Articles

COVID-19ResearchTypes FeatureImage1 19May2020

Types of Clinical Research for COVID-19

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
June 3rd, 20206 minute read

As the world works to quickly learn about COVID-19, a mix of research studies is underway. This guide explains the different types of COVID-19 studies and what researchers hope to learn from them.

InnovationInClinicalTrials TweetChatBlog 14May2020-01

Tweet Chat: Uncovering Innovation in Clinical Trials

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
May 27th, 20203 minute read

On International Clinical Trials Day, we hosted a tweet chat to generate conversation on #ClinicalTrialInnovation. If you didn’t have a chance to attend, we’ve broken down the key takeaways here.

AStoryofResearchVolunteers FeatureImage 6May2020-01

Meet Four Research Volunteers

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
May 13th, 20201 minute read

Over 2 million brave people take part in clinical trials every year, testing new treatments that may make life better. Meet four of those people.

A De-centralized Response Featured Image

Clinical Trials: A De-Centralized Response

BlogAuthor Don2 3Dec2019
Don Harder
May 4th, 20203 minute read

The quick adoption and scaling of decentralized trials will be one of the positive outcomes of having to look at the world of clinical trials in a different way. Learn more about the shift.

CISCRP Feature Image 2

2019 Perceptions and Insights Study: Part 2

Kevin Hudziak Photo
Kevin Hudziak
April 7th, 20203 minute read

In the second installment of our two-part infographic series, we focus on the use of technology in clinical research and how it may pave the way to decentralized clinical trials.