Thought Leaders Offer Rosy View on Future of Clinical Trials

Dystopian science fiction stories like Blade Runner and The Terminator make for exciting and popular, if depressing, viewing. By contrast, “happy” stories aren’t as compelling when it comes to drawing a big audience to a movie theatre. Luckily, the folks contacted by PA Consulting offered up some pretty rosy predictions for the clinical trial world over the next few decades.

“Clinical research stands to benefit from bolder, large-scale transformation—further helping it fulfill its role of advancing medicine and creating a positive human future,” PA Consulting says in a new white paper on “Transforming the Clinical Trial to Help Us Live Our Best Lives.”

Based on interviews with leaders in the field, the company came away with three conclusions about clinical trials of the future. According to its decidedly optimistic viewpoint, the trials of tomorrow will be:

  • Open: Research infrastructure is increasingly connected through networks, operational services become more consistent, and involved stakeholders share in research more cooperatively.
  • Human-centered: The design of trials is oriented toward offering value to the participant, resulting in experiences that are more personalized, seamless, and information-rich.
  • Integrated: Trials will become more integrated into the health system and perceived as a critical component of care, including broader and more consistent application of learnings.

PA Consulting does have a ceiling for its optimism, though. “While today we see limited expressions of these elements in small pockets or experiments, in the future they will become standard practice and generally expected by trial participants, research partners, and regulators alike,” it says in the white paper.

It’s up to industry leaders in 2019 to help realize this better kind of future, according to the company.  Specifically, it calls on industry influencers to:

  • Make tomorrow’s end consumer the focal point of their businesses, in some instances reversing traditional logic to understand the consumers’ universe and anticipate their future needs.
  • Engineer innovation speed and agility into their organizations to enable more rapid idea development through a think big, start small, and scale fast mindset.
  • Participate in cooperative, systemic transformation outside company walls to deliver on shared goals around technologies, operational methods, and disease understandings, as well as to benefit from greater transparency of learnings.

“The next evolution of clinical trials will be driven both top-down (e.g., cost/value pressures) and bottom-up (e.g., consumer preferences),” the report says. “To keep pace, industry will need to adopt a more consumer-focused, agile, and cooperative mindset [that] will not happen organically and must be led and practiced at all levels of an organization.”

Author: Michael Causey