Over the past few years, clinical trials have become very costly, no thanks to the money needed to produce drugs. And of course, an expensive drug negates the principle of patients’ inclusiveness.
Realizing the problem, medical companies are looking to make clinical trials cost-effective. This means the design and structure would need to be optimized through technological solutions such as automation and programming skills.
If you’re looking to optimize your clinical trials, this article contains tips and best practices you can leverage for maximum effect.
What Are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are carried out on newly discovered medical treatments to validate their likelihood for improved health. Medical treatment can be in the form of medical procedures, devices, drugs, diets, and exercises.
Trials can’t be done successfully if no people volunteer to participate. People participate in clinical trials for different reasons. Some do it to gain access to medical treatment before they become accessible to the public. Others contribute to medical research towards better and more effective treatment for diseases.
Before a clinical trial can be done, the medical team will first create a research plan which is generally known as the protocol. This protocol describes the schedule of medications, procedures, tests, and dosages. It also includes the duration of the study, principles on who can take part in the trial, and information the researcher wants to gather about the treatment.
A research team that includes doctors, nurses, and other professionals are assigned at every location of the trial.
Designing And Optimizing Clinical Trials
The need to design and optimize clinical trials is imperative because it’s crucial to reduce costs and achieve maximum results. The following are tips you can use to optimize your trials:
- Be Patient-Centric
This important word has been in the industry for some years and has become part of clinical trials as well. Patients now use the knowledge of the internet and findings on the growing influence of advocacy groups to become more involved in every stage of their clinical trial.
Also, patients create many support groups where they discuss their ailments and available treatments. The support groups usually continue even after the clinical trial. Pharmaceutical companies can also use information obtained from these support groups to regulate patient protocols to fit into the real-world situation and improve patients’ quality of life.
Using technology to carry out remote clinical trials can make trials more patient-centric. This reduces the burden of visiting clinical locations on patients. For testing that can’t be done remotely, sponsors can request needed data before the trial and get those obtained in a remote setting.
- Manage Protocol Development
Patients rarely concentrate on the protocols when deciding to go through a clinical trial. Instead, they’re concerned about their benefits and that of others from participating in the trial. They also want to know if the trial is worth their time. Yet, a protocol is needed for clinical optimization as it helps to save time.
During the protocol development stage, it’s necessary to gain patient insight on what they see as important. This will help sponsors develop protocols that note what their patients want. If patients are taken through the trial early with every stage well-explained, medical practitioners can help patients know what to expect at every point.
- Automate Site Supplies
There are pharmaceutical and biotech companies that have started to manage site inventories and automate drug dispensation with computer-controlled supply systems. This method is becoming common because it reduces wastage in the supply chain and enables companies to control the amount of medicine used during clinical trials.
- Be Flexible With The Procedures
Making your clinical trial flexible is a good decision in an ever-changing world. This gives your trial more chances of succeeding. It’s also the right way to attract more patients to test the new product.
Flexibility means the leverage of technology and digitization. When you adopt modern tools, you can tweak clinical processes to suit all stakeholders. Also, you can get whatever data you want from patients without much effort.
- Manage Your Timelines
This is usually a neglected aspect of data design in clinical trials. Monitor your date and time fields. Clinical data should be collated on different timelines, but most people ignore this because they don’t understand that trials have different parallel timelines.
The clinical trial timelines are study schedule, adverse events, and patient compliance. If high-quality data and time are collected in the data model, a different time series will be generated. So, it’d be best to manage your timelines properly for optimization.
A trial should achieve its central objective: the need to ascertain if a new medicine can heal an ailment or not. But to do that, sponsors need to put patients at the forefront of a trial because they’re the driving force in the success of the healthcare industry.