It doesn’t take a famous prognosticator like Nostradamus to see huge changes looming on the clinical trial horizon. Advances in technology, new business demands, workforce scarcities, and a global pandemic are just some of the ingredients combining to thrust the clinical trial workforce into the undiscovered country of the future.
“We want to make sure people in the clinical trial community are ready for changes and new demands” coming their way, says Jeanne Taylor Hecht, CEO of JTH Consulting, LLC. A long-time thought leader in the industry, Hecht is also moderating a panel of fellow soothsayers at the ACRP 2022 conference in Orlando, Fla. in April.
Hecht and the group will examine “what will stick around, and what will go away” in the next few years in clinical trial operations. “We need to make sure we’re ready for the future,” she says.
For example, while she vigorously applauds the increased commitment to workforce and patient diversity, Hecht notes more and more trials may move into communities with a less affluent population. “Some of the new sites in those communities won’t have the same level of experienced professionals” available on day one of a trial, she notes. “How will we as an industry support them with training, technology, [and other tools to ensure] we all deliver similar levels of quality?” Hecht asks.
She also believes decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) and the trend toward an overall patient-centric approach are here to stay. “We will continue to become better at seeing the patient where they are,” Hecht says.
However, attaining those and other strategic goals will require a workforce trained to meet those challenges, she cautions. “We need to make sure the workforce is evolving to meet future needs,” she adds.
Author: Michael Causey