This exploration of top trends in clinical trials for 2022 discusses the following key topics:
- Implications of a more geographically dispersed pool of participants
- More effort to personalize the patient experience
- Enhanced data-gathering options for richer, more accurate trial data
- Greater emphasis on patient privacy, especially in lieu of more digital storage and sharing
- Regaining trust following negative implications from the pandemic and related public health discussions
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Clinical trials are a critical testing ground for prospective biopharma products. The data gathered during trials includes observational data based on how patients physically respond to treatment, as well as feedback communicated by participants.
The communication gathered is essential to understanding the positive implications of a prescription candidate, as well as negative side effects. In some cases, it is difficult for trial facilitators to gather, organize, store and analyze data from geographically-dispersed clinics and participants. However, digital communications systems can help improve data gathering significantly.
The following is a look at several key trends in clinical trials for 2022, including the rapid increase in online interaction with trial participants.
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Just as customer experience has become more critical in business and citizen experience has become more important in government, patient experience is becoming more emphasized in healthcare.
Drug manufacturers and the entire prescription value chain rely on participating clinics and patients to conduct comprehensive trials that satisfy FDA requirements and ethical standards. Their ability to do so is dependent on the level of comfort all involved have. Clinics and practitioners do not want to collaborate with manufacturers that do not give fair consideration to the individuals involved in trials. Patients would not want to participate if they are not comfortable that reasonable interest is given to their well-being.
One of the ways that the industry is enhancing personalization is by allowing participants flexibility with their mode of participation. Some patients go to clinics or hospitals for treatment, monitoring, and input. However, more are now participating from home, especially as a result of the pandemic.
The more customized and personalized you can make the process, the more attractive it is for ideal patients to participate.
Trial facilitators have established more flexible processes to accommodate diverse methods of participation, including the provision of home monitoring equipment and virtual communications systems to support this approach.
The use of in-home technology allows for broader access to candidate pools, which enhances the precision of each participant’s fit. It also means greater access to high-quality data. By optimizing candidate fit, the industry is able to gain better insight into how the drug serves the needs of intended candidates. More accurate data is also useful in satisfying FDA standards for the efficacy and safety of drugs.
Data is gathered directly from the physiological monitoring of patients, as well as from the input patients provide. Feedback gathered through a unified communications system is more easily organized, stored, and maintained for historical record.
The ability to monitor and communicate with participants from their homes is also advantageous to many participating clinics. It allows facilitators to more efficiently and routinely interact with participants regarding their experiences with the drugs. More regular interactions leads to more consistent feedback throughout the trial. It gives facilitators broader insight into the drug’s impact over the duration of a treatment cycle. It also helps with more precise pinpointing of the onset of any adverse reactions or negative side effects.
There is also growing use of artificial intelligence in life sciences, including within data analysis. AI tools are able to mine data intuitively through machine learning and deep learning capabilities, to better understand the implications within holistic data sets.
There is a renewed emphasis on participant privacy in clinical trials in 2022. This focus aligns with similar privacy concerns in other public and private sectors. Securing private and confidential information is a key challenge to more use of digital methods of communication and data-gathering.
With more virtual participants, there are many times where data is gathered, stored, and shared across digital connections, including:
- Data gathering from monitoring devices
- Data collected through live feedback from participants
- Communication and data sharing between clinics and trial facilitators
- Other communication to manage the trial process among stakeholders
Best-in-class digital communications solutions provide the tools to facilitate successful virtual trial participation and offer advanced security protocols like multi-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption.
This trend encompasses some of the intent behind other trends already discussed. An unfortunate result of the pandemic and related public health factors has been heightened general distrust of the healthcare sector. This distrust can spill into any related sector.
Therefore, drug manufacturers, participating clinics, and other channel partners have to work especially hard to earn trust in 2022. Personalizing the experience and taking other steps to demonstrate concern for patient welfare contributes. So does a clearly demonstrated commitment to participant privacy and security.
These steps, coupled with transparency and ongoing communication, will go a long way to winning over participants.
Clinical trials are evolving as we move through 2022, both in terms of processes and data-gathering. Technology has contributed to advances in trial processes by enabling more holistic management across geographically-dispersed clinics and participants.
Digitization in communications is among the most impactful trends in clinical trials. Producers are able to maintain more consistency in methods of communication with clinics and participants. They are also able to identify and involve more optimized participants to ensure accurate and useful trial data.
RingCentral for Healthcare is a unified communications system tailored specifically to the needs of healthcare organizations and those in the life sciences industry. RingCentral leads the way in meeting the needs of modern trial operators.
Get the demo to see how RingCentral can facilitate better communications and collaboration for your clinical trials.
Originally published Jun 22, 2022