Technological advancements have revolutionized the health sector, especially in clinical trials for drugs and intervention development. While the health sector might be hesitant to change, there’s no doubt that technological innovation has made some medical processes easy and efficient. Technology integration into clinical trials has been immensely beneficial, especially in design and efficiency. Some clinical trial areas that improved through technological advancements include patient engagement, data storage and management, and design management. Here’s a detailed discussion:
- Addressing Challenges
Clinical trials have several challenges that are being solved through technological advancements. For instance, manually recruiting and maintaining suitable candidates for clinical trials can be difficult. Fortunately, you can now recruit patients through mobile communication, social media, and quick database analysis of patients in a facility. In addition, if the target demographic of patients is far or in a remote area, you can use mobile communication, such as video conferencing and phone calls to conduct the trial.
Technology has also improved how patient data is captured and stored during clinical trials. As a researcher, you have access to many devices, such as smartphone-based apps and wearable devices, that can collect and transmit data simultaneously. Moreover, once you’ve collected data, you can store it and reuse it for other studies using applications such as the clinical MDR. The ability to store and reuse data also reduces the cost of clinical trials.
Aside from that, technological advancements are shifting clinical trials to improve the patient experience. Initially, clinical trials were focused on drug and intervention development with little attention given to patients since there are many of them and fewer means of monitoring each individually. However, now that patients can use wearable monitoring devices, the focus is on their comfort and a better experience during the trial.
- Decentralizing Clinical Trials
Technological innovation and breakthroughs are slowly making clinical trials decentralized which is the complete opposite of the traditional methods. Generally, decentralizing clinical trials is considered an upgrade because more people can be reached. You might realize that the new era has introduced the concept of telemedicine and remote monitoring devices accessible to researchers and patients.
As a researcher in a clinical trial, you can communicate with the patient virtually and have the drugs delivered to them. Furthermore, you can monitor their progress through wearables or have online consultations. In other cases, you can implement a hybrid system where you can schedule some physical monitoring sessions in the patient’s home.
Though there might be a few concerns with a decentralized system, such as patient compliance, you can flag such issues early through remote monitoring. For example, suppose a patient’s symptoms are improving. In that case, you pick up discrepancies in their monitoring charts through data picked by a wearable, and you can initiate an intervention mechanism early.
- Innovating Assessment Devices
You’ll need assessment devices that monitor the activity and behavior of patients during the clinical trials. Technological advancements and innovation have increased the variety of clinical assessment tools you might need to make the trial process easy, efficient, and cost-effective. For instance, as a researcher, you can now use smaller and more sophisticated sensor devices that collect all the necessary information during a clinical trial. Other gadgets issued for patients can help control their body’s reaction to changes in their environment.
Although continuous data collection can result in bulky, unnecessary data, you can configure the devices only to collect data necessary for a specific study. For example, a sensor can be conditioned to transmit data on heart rate, blood pressure spikes, and time. The data will be crucial in determining the cause of the change.
Subsequently, innovation has also led to the development of devices that can monitor behavioral change in patients, especially those diagnosed with behavioral disorders. The devices can develop digital signatures that can be used to classify different behavioral disorders to ease the treatment process. The concept of using continuous assessment devices in monitoring patients with mental and behavioral disorders is that they monitor daily routines and habits and pick up on anomalies. This data helps in developing intervention measures such as the just-in-time method.
Technological advancement allows innovation essential to drug and intervention development in the health sector. The healthcare sector has to adapt to technological changes, especially in clinical trials, which has proven beneficial. Integrating technological innovations and breakthroughs into clinical trials has improved data and patient management. Moreover, clinical trial costs have significantly dropped because a clinical trial can be decentralized. So, as a researcher participating in a clinical trial, you’d want to invest in appropriate devices and software to enhance your study.