Virtual clinical trials (VCTs) are opening up clinical trials to a broader and more diverse patient population while also giving researchers access to more robust and comprehensive data. The potential for VCTs to improve health research has piqued the interest of many players in the healthcare ecosystem, including patients, researchers, healthcare providers, and regulatory agencies. Virtual clinical trials (VCTs) are a game-changer in clinical research because they offer better options compared to expensive and time-consuming in-person studies. As VCTs evolve, we’ll see more ways to use technology and carry out clinical trial consulting to provide a more inclusive, effective, and patient-centered approach. But what does this entail for the many people who have a stake in clinical trials? What promise do these innovative trial methods hold for clinical sites, patients, and sponsors?
The patients’ viewpoint: Accessibility and convenience
One important advantage of VCTs is their accessibility. When patients are no longer limited by their location, they are free to pursue any treatment available, regardless of their race or ethnicity. This broadens participation in clinical trials, which improves their potential to reflect the populations they are designed to help. Others may facilitate rural representation and participation by groups with less mobility. In addition, virtual clinical trials are especially important for facilitating participant recruitment in investigations of rare diseases, which require a wider geographic scope to generate adequate sample sizes. Due to the reduction in logistical costs compared to conventional trials, VCTs improve the patient experience. Virtual clinical trials streamline the entire research process by allowing participants to enroll, collect data, and communicate with study teams online. Patient benefits include improved convenience for trial participants, reduced caregiver load, increased access to diverse populations, improved trial efficiency, and helping to investigate rare diseases affecting mobility-impaired populations.
Sponsor benefits: Cost-efficiency, improved recruitment, and accuracy
For sponsors, VCTs are changing the investment landscape. One improvement is the significantly increased rates of enrollment and recruiting. By reaching a bigger audience, VCTs make it easier to get more people to join studies than if recruitment were limited to only a few places close to where the research was done. VCTs should help this figure increase dramatically. Virtual clinical trials (VCTs) can increase trial participation and completion by facilitating patient engagement and lowering trial-related travel needs. A clinical research organization can also benefit from the more reliable evidence that VCTs can provide. The data generated is often less biased and more thorough thanks to the real-time, real-world nature of digital technologies, leading to improved substantiation of safety and efficacy outcomes. VCTs can help you save a lot of money because of how efficiently they operate. These savings help make studies more cost-effective by reducing things like travel costs, site infrastructure requirements, and investigator burden.
Clinical site benefits: Streamlined processes and monitoring
VCTs have a lot of benefits for clinical places, but the main one is that they make it easier to do administrative work. VCTs allow site administrators to concentrate on what matters: the care of their patients, by automating and streamlining numerous processes. Additionally, the use of digital technologies in VCTs facilitates compliance and safety monitoring and provides a greater understanding of a patient’s health in-between visits. This makes it possible to quickly identify and correct any unexpected results.
VCTs transform health research, benefiting numerous user populations. Patients benefit from increased accessibility and convenience, while sponsors reap the benefits of increased recruitment, reduced costs, and streamlined procedures at clinical sites.