Survey Finds Clinical Trial Recovery Gaining Momentum

Kyle Ricketts, Marketing Manager, Bio-Optronics

As beaches and restaurants in some parts of the country begin to reopen, there’s also room for optimism in the clinical trial industry that the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are subsiding, according to a COVID-19 Benchmark Data survey released on June 9 from Bio-Optronics. The key performance indicator (KPI) data for the benchmarks were culled from 1,275 sites and 30,000 users of the company’s clinical trials software.

“Based on recent activity, there is a lot of good news for sites,” a report based on the survey says.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • Visits completed continue to be about 37% below pre-COVID-19 levels. “The activity is likely from virtual visits, safe visits, and visits in hospital settings (which remain open through COVID-19 closures),” according to the report.
  • While visits scheduled remain below the pre-pandemic baseline, the week of May 31 is almost 20% above the COVID-19 low in late April and appears to show an upward trend. “If leading indicators for recruitment grow, we can expect to see more positive trends in this KPI,” Bio-Optronics says.
  • The rescheduled visits per week have plateaued at 50% below the baseline.
  • Following an April 19 spike in cancelled visits, the KPI has settled to a 50% baseline in the most recent weeks.
  • The last three weeks covered in the report show a big increase in sites’ patient communication. The week of May 31 even reported this at 20% above pre-COVID-19 levels. “As sites continue opening up and embracing technology like text messaging, we will expect to see more weeks of positive activity,” the survey says.
  • Weekly enrollment activity has increased 38% since April 12. As site activity increases, enrollment, which is a lagging KPI, is expected to increase as well, according to Bio-Optronics.
  • Community interest in site-displayed studies (on site websites) has only marginally declined compared to outbound activity during the pandemic. That said, there was a 17% increase from late April to late May in this KPI. “This means that more prospects are looking into potential studies in their communities,” notes the survey report.
  • Since hitting a low point at the start of the pandemic in mid-March, sites have slowly (and somewhat consistently) started adding studies. The May 2020 activity was just 4% below pre-pandemic levels, and some weeks were actually above that benchmark.

“Since the last report in mid-May, many leading indicators have begun trending upward,” the survey report says. Some metrics have even spiked above pre-COVID-19 levels. While some lagging indicators that measure the results of site activities remain low, the expectation is to see them rise in the coming weeks, the survey report suggests.

Kyle Ricketts, marketing manager at Bio-Optronics, hopes the data “will provide some hope and inspire sites to stay creative and find ways to safely continue caring for patients through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Visit Bio-Optronics for regular clinical trial market updates.

Author: Michael Causey