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International Clinical Trials

Data Collection During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond


As we all know, data are always at the centre of the clinical development process. Researchers have always looked at collecting varieties of data from patients to assess safety and efficacy of the new medications in trials, and technology has been of great help in the last decade enabling the seamless flow of data from various sources. However, the basic structure of clinical trials has not changed drastically, with the majority of patient and monitoring visits performed in traditional ways where patients and monitors travel to investigator sites.

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold last year, major CROs reported 70-80% of their sites becoming inaccessible or non-functional due to travel limitations for both patients and monitors, and also because of the decrease in available health workers in hospitals to support research. Many clinical trials have been put on hold and new trials postponed due to the global crisis, however, it’s promising to see many have implemented virtual trial models or hybrid models to start or continue the research in these unprecedented times. This is a very positive move, and inspiring for the larger industry to contemplate how virtual models could improve patient participation and their experience of clinical trials. Here are some areas for consideration when taking a decentralised approach to conducting clinical trials.

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Deepu Joseph is currently serving as Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Data Management with Quanticate and has over 16 years of experience in managing and driving clinical data management operations delivery across major CROs.
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