Sites Explore New Ways to Assess, Harness Technology

Bree Burks

Bree Burks, RN, MSN, Vice President of Strategy, Site Solutions, Veeva Systems

Savvy clinical trial sites include prominent voices from both the technology and business sides of their operation when pursuing new tools designed to improve communication with sponsors, says Bree Burks, RN, MSN, vice president of strategy in the site solutions realm for Veeva Systems.

The industry veteran has seen too many situations where one interest or the other dominates the proceedings—to the detriment of the site. “You need to make them come together and get them as much on the same page as possible” when assessing and selecting a new technology solution, Burks says.

Business and technology leaders at the site bring important perspectives, she notes, but those must be blended with an appreciation of the bigger picture. For example, the search team should have a clear view on who will be using the technology and what their user experience will be like, she says. “Sites need to make a good, educated choice” to find the right technology to help them connect with sponsors, Burks adds.

Sites and sponsors share massive amounts of information during a trial and that requires “tons of consistent coordination” between the two, Burks says.

There are other factors to be aware of in the technology space, she notes. For example, sites have pushed back on many technology companies by being more and more hesitant to purchase “one-off” pieces of technology or software that don’t integrate with each other, she says. “That’s a good thing,” she adds. She believes sites should demand technology solutions with wide reach.

Working Better Together: How Technology Brings Sites and Sponsors Together

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Further, while sites have become increasingly sophisticated when it comes to their technology needs, so too have patients, Burks says. “Patient expectations have changed” when it comes to technology, and they “are demanding greater choice” in terms of expecting sites to leverage technology for increasing the use of remote trial options, she notes.

Wider use of technology will also help promote patient diversity in clinical trials, Burks says. “We can reach more people in trials” by offering remote options, “and not just [include] people who can drive, take time off from work, and get to a major metropolitan hospital” to participate, she adds.

Author: Michael Causey