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Survey Finds Industry Taking Action to Address Challenges from Rapid Move to Decentralized Trials Amid COVID-19

Veeva Systems

95% of clinical leaders now focused on establishing a connected digital foundation for patient-centric trials

BARCELONA, Spain — 14 Oct. 2021 — Sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) are accelerating digital transformation to advance toward patient-centric, paperless, and decentralized trials, according to the Digital Clinical Trials Survey Report conducted by Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV). The new global research shows life sciences companies are taking decisive action to improve operational challenges stemming from the rapid adoption of decentralized technologies during COVID-19, evolving to a study model that expands beyond just decentralization.

Today, most sponsors and CROs (87%) use some type of decentralized technology, up 59 percentage points from before the pandemic. With this change, companies added an average of four new applications to their clinical landscape, leading to issues with data collection and stakeholder collaboration and impacting study quality and speed.

Findings show that sponsors and CROs are taking action to address these challenges in order to streamline study execution and deliver a better patient and site experience. Nearly all respondents (95%) are working to establish a unified digital trial foundation to improve information sharing and collaboration across stakeholders, better support sites, and eliminate silos through a connected ecosystem. This will bring together patient-facing applications, sponsor and research site operations, and clinical data for end-to-end digital trials that are faster and more efficient.

Improving engagement with patients and sites was consistently cited as a critical initiative and a driver for moving to a digital trial model. Major change is happening to address the key challenges with decentralized trials, including lack of site technology adoption (70%) and increased burden for technology-averse patients (50%). Sponsors and CROs are investing in making studies more accessible and convenient to patients by better supporting sites with technology and eliminating paper processes, efforts that can enable seamless trial execution and data flow.

“While decentralized approaches have driven positive change in clinical research, more work remains to deliver faster, more cost-effective trials,” said Jim Reilly, vice president, Vault R&D at Veeva Systems. “True digital trials will connect the clinical ecosystem and deliver a better trial experience for patients, sites, and sponsors.”

The full report is available online at
phone +44 203 588 9500
email The Old Trinity Church, Trinity Road Marlow, Bucks, SL7 3AN, UK
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