Alleviating Research Burnout With User-Friendly Tech

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It’s not news that the number and complexity of clinical research studies continues to grow as the workforce continues to dwindle. Consequently, sites are continually being asked to do more.

Many agree the answer to these industry strains is technology. However, the answer isn’t necessarily more tech. Instead, it’s optimal, user-friendly tech.

Teams already rely on a vast electronic ecosystem of software, applications, and spreadsheets—all managing data needed to conduct research. In fact, many sites are taxed with logging into more than six platforms for an average study. Instead of spurring productivity, these tools are generating new barriers, tech overload, and burnout, leading to turnover and understaffing. Astonishingly, clinical research turnover rates are nearly 30%, versus a 15% national average.

It doesn’t have to be this way. To ensure technology is actually curbing burnout instead of causing it, sites should invest in an easy-to-use clinical trial management system (CTMS).

How does a CTMS alleviate tech overload?

A CTMS is a site-centric solution that’s meant to simplify site operations, from study planning to closeout. As a central hub, a CTMS is critical for improving overall site efficiency, and for addressing staff overload by eliminating tedious, repetitive work that bogs everyone down.

While there are several CTMS systems available, not all deliver holistically for key site stakeholders. That’s why it’s essential to select an advanced CTMS with the ability to:

  • Digitize protocols and organize complex workflows, thereby replacing manual tasks
  • Eliminate redundant processes through seamless systems integration
  • Easily visualize and track financial health and revenue of a study

By acting as a single source of truth across research, finance, and leadership teams, an advanced CTMS can significantly optimize operations for better performance and better morale.

How does a user-friendly CTMS mitigate risks?

Advanced software isn’t the sole solution for research tech burnout. Unless these systems are easy for researchers to use, they can perpetuate stress, negatively influence quit rates, and endanger the ability of sites to deliver.

Consider these risks without user-friendly software:

  • Quality and safety. In an industry where research teams are working in many different systems, sub-par design can impede accurate data collection, adversely impact the precision of research, and ultimately, expose patients to unnecessary risk.
  • Cost inflation. Site staff can waste a significant portion of their valuable time on systems training when they could be focused on actual research. What’s the use of buying any fancy eClinical technology if the features are difficult to find, sync up, and use?
  • Productivity levels. Easy-to-use technology can also influence productivity as well-designed interfaces speed work. Conversely, poor user experience (UX) from poorly designed software eats up precious minutes from busy schedules. This is critical for organizations managing weary staff and facing costly onboarding from high turnover.

What makes a CTMS easy-to-use?

The pillars of user-friendly technology are effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction. That last tenet – user satisfaction – is one CTMS pillar that if left unattended, may come at a literal cost to research teams.

Verily’s SignalPath is an innovative, but easy-to-use, CTMS solution developed for researchers, by researchers. From our Google/Alphabet heritage, we bring best-in-class UX practices and principles, building the most intuitive, accessible workflows and features possible, including patent-pending protocol digitization technology that reduces study start time and configures study workflows within our CTMS by transforming lengthy PDF protocols into a single, digital master translation.

Plus, SignalPath liberates sites via key UX product capabilities that help enable:

  • Precisely the right information for all
  • Key data in a click or two
  • Minimal context shifting

Precisely the right information for all

Of course, managing a clinical studies portfolio requires coordination between researchers, finance teams, regulatory, and leadership. However, wading through clunky software for pertinent details isn’t a good use of anyone’s time.

With this in mind, SignalPath supports each team’s workflows with precision and intuition by serving up exactly the right information to each user in a view that is easy to absorb & act upon.

Key data in a click or two

An even bigger waste of time is trying to remember where links are located within an application, under which tab, while jumping around to navigate the right screen. SignalPath eliminates this complexity by presenting all key information within a click or two of the current screen.

Minimal context shifting

Given the breadth of site-management technologies, reviewing clinical trial documents can be incredibly painful, especially when reconciling different versions across unlinked systems. SignalPath’s thoughtfully designed interface helps reduce “context shifting” by serving as a single repository for documents and contacts to be shared and communicated simply and securely.

For example, since SignalPath houses all study documents and contacts, users can send files with comments to anyone on the platform. This also ensures data security, preventing third-party emailing systems from violating data policies.

Experience the ease of SignalPath

While some CTMS options may offer many features that streamline workflows and study operations, this still may not be enough to address burnout. To ease the workload of an overwhelmed staff, software needs to limit steps and workarounds, not create them.

SignalPath liberates study teams from frustrating time spent on managing the capabilities of their tools, which enables more time caring for patients and conducting imperative research.

To experience the ease of SignalPath for yourself, request a guided demo or visit us online at