Information technology (software, hardware, data science) is playing an increasingly vital role in delivering cutting edge therapeutics to medicine cabinets around the world. For CEOs leading businesses within the drug discovery ecosystem, harnessing the power of technology has never been more vital in the quest to create value for their customers, employees and shareholders.
The development of novel therapeutics – such as cell and gene therapies – has drastically heightened the complexity of R&D, clinical trials and regulatory approvals. As a result, the life sciences industry is becoming increasingly reliant on advancements in information technology to reduce R&D timelines and increase speed to commercialization.
There are a variety of technology innovations shaping the growing eClinical marketplace.
Wearable Technology & Consumerism
Wearable technology – which has grown explosively in consumer markets in recent years – is disrupting traditional clinical trial methods and redefining how clinical trial data is captured and assessed. In their early stages of development, wearables are quickly proving to be beneficial in capturing vast amounts of data, engaging patients and enabling remote clinical trial monitoring. The benefits have prompted CEOs and executive teams across the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to reassess clinical trial methodologies and implement technology driven solutions in order to bring complex and novel products to market.
The rise of healthcare consumerism has further driven sponsors to assess the use of wearables in clinical trials. Since clinical trials are reliant on the continued engagement of trial participants, adapting to modern consumer expectations is a necessity to ensure trial success. Therefore, sponsors are seeking clinical trial solutions that align with the consumer demand for easy-to-use, convenient and accessible services and products.
The widespread consumer use of wearable technology – such as Apple watches, Fitbits and Garmin devices – has familiarized potential clinical trial participants with wearable devices. Sponsors and clinical operations executives are capitalizing on this familiarity to optimize participant engagement and successfully capture comprehensive clinical trial data.
Comprehensive Data Sets
Data capture and analysis is crucial in running successful clinical trials. Traditionally, health records, questionnaires, in-person observations and testing have supplied most of the relevant clinical trial data. Through technology innovations, opportunities to collect and analyze larger more comprehensive data sets has become possible for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The influx of larger data sets has resulted in clinical trial optimization and improvements in the analysis of treatment efficacy.
FDA-approved wearables are proving instrumental in data capture. Unlike traditional in-person testing and observations, wearable technology provides lifestyle data that more accurately represents a patient’s response to the medication or device. Wearables further supply a large quantity of data over extended time periods. This enables clinical trial research to better assess long-term trends. These benefits are highly attractive to CEOs as they drive clinical trial efficiency, leading to accelerated commercialization timelines.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the global healthcare industry to become more remote. Patient care, payer services and pharmaceutical delivery have undergone rapid transformations to meet the changing global environment. Businesses unable to operate remotely have been shut down across the globe, resulting in decreased access to care and the delay of non-essential treatments. Likewise, many clinical trials have been stalled or postponed, resulting in extended R&D timelines and reduced patent life. The opportunity for technology to comply with the new, more remote environment is crucial in the development of new treatments and products.
In opposition to traditional clinic trial methods, which rely on in-person observations and testing, wearable technology promotes remote monitoring and data capture. Comprehensive patient data can be readily collected and analyzed through customized sensors, compliant data collection software and secure storage solutions. Therefore, wearable technology can enable CEOs to run clinical trials successfully and effectively in shifting environments. The adaptability of wearables will further prepare sponsor’s CEOs to agilely respond to the unpredictable and changing healthcare landscape going forward.
Advancements in device sensors, customization of wearable devices and new regulatory approvals will be required going forward. However, the widespread use of information technology is gaining traction across the clinical trials industry and will likely provide revolutionary solutions able to move clinical trial research into a new and innovation focused future.
By focusing on the consumer and embracing the technology advancements, CEOs can quarterback clinical trials able to capture necessary data, accelerate commercialization timelines and meet business growth objectives.