After Bumpy Beginning, Clinical Trial Practitioners Embrace New Technologies

Ryan Jones, Cofounder and CEO, Florence Healthcare

Ryan Jones, Cofounder and CEO, Florence Healthcare

After something of a tug of war, technology vendors are finally designing tools with clinical trials in mind as opposed to pushing a “one size fits all” approach, according to Ryan Jones, cofounder and CEO at Florence Healthcare.

“We see out there that technologies are, for the first time, being built for the people who are getting the research done,” Jones says. Hopefully, formerly reluctant trial practitioners will embrace new technologies when they realize the tools are better tailored to their needs, he adds.

“There are two main challenges in clinical research when you’re trying to get a study done,” Jones says. One is doing the actual work at the site, and the second is communicating that work back to the sponsor so it can submit data to regulatory bodies for approval. “What we’ve found is that technology is starting to help in both cases,” Jones notes.

Technology can automate certain tasks—such as populating the forms used by the regulatory authorities—that once had to be filled out by hand or typed into Microsoft Word. Leveraging the right technology, users can enter data electronically and automatically route it to the right person to acknowledge and review, Jones says.

Related Reading: “It is one thing to recognize the potential benefits of a technology, but it’s another thing entirely to become comfortable enough to use it with any frequency. That’s where we find many clinical trial professionals today.” Read More

“You can also be at a bedside with the patient and enter data about that patient’s blood pressure using a one-time [electronic resource] application and have that flow through to the sponsor’s electronic data capture tool,” Jones adds.

Clinical research demands “doing things reliably and repeatedly in the same high-quality way again and again, and that’s what software is good at,” Jones says. “We’re seeing in some cases 40% of the cycle time is removed to do key tasks when you’re running a study.”

Jones also challenges the effectiveness of e-mail in the clinical trial setting. “E-mail has been the communication tool over the last 20 years between sites and sponsors,” he says, “and it’s hopelessly broken for the purpose of managing a multicenter study.” Administered properly, technology can reduce duplicative efforts and promote better collaboration between sites and sponsors, he adds.

Author: Michael Causey