While the clinical trials industry doesn’t have a reputation as a haven for early adopters when it comes to technology, contract research organizations (CROs) are the driving force for the trend in the industry, based on responses from 461 high-level personnel at CROs and sponsors.
“Findings show CROs are leading the adoption of modern clinical applications to increase efficiency, enhance collaboration, and improve trial performance,” according to the Veeva 2019 Unified Clinical Operations Survey: Annual CRO Report.
The majority of CROs now use standalone, eClinical applications for their electronic data capture (93%), electronic trial master file (eTMF) (77%), randomization and trial supply management (71%), and clinical trial management system (CTMS) (70%) needs as they steadily adopt function-specific technologies to support clinical trials.
All CRO respondents reported the need to unify clinical applications. Main drivers are better visibility and oversight (74%), faster trials (68%), and easier stakeholder collaboration (63%).
“Consistent with the aim to improve collaboration, 100% of respondents say they want to improve methods of information exchange between study partners,” according to the survey. Primary reasons include reduced manual processes (77%), streamlined collaboration (65%), and improved study quality (64%).
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All CROs surveyed also reported challenges with study start-up, and 78% rely on manual spreadsheets to manage this area.
CROs have made progress modernizing clinical systems and processes in areas such as eTMF to ensure a constant state of inspection readiness (60%) and increase visibility into TMF status (58%).
Most CRO respondents (96%) want to improve the use of CTMS in clinical operations. Top drivers are better analytics and reporting (68%), proactive risk mitigation (62%), and improved integration with other eClinical applications (57%).
Author: Michael Causey