The Covid-19 pandemic has had lasting repercussions on the clinical trial industry. While demonstrating the possibility of global efforts to work quickly while maintaining safety standards, the pandemic also revealed structural issues and demands in the clinical trial process.
First, the pandemic has shown to the whole world the importance of well designed, randomized clinical trials. Clinical trial design isn’t something most people thought about on a regular basis before, but now it has been brought to the forefront of human attention as we’ve all witnessed the race to develop, test, produce, and distribute effective Covid-19 vaccines.
This has also highlighted how important larger scale trials will be moving forward, as mass participant samples allow for better, clearer results in shorter times. This was accomplished during Covid-19 through the use of a master protocol, which multiple study sites could align themselves with for effective collaboration on the same series of tests. (Though the resources required are larger, the impact that these trials can have on future medical research outweighs the financial burden of recruiting thousands of people.)
The pandemic has also demonstrated the industry need for faster sharing of data sets. If structures and incentives are put in place to encourage faster sharing of anonymized datasets, collaboration will allow for discovery and progress on a faster and larger scale.
Finally, the pandemic has hopefully taught clinical researcher’s and medical suppliers the importance of extending findings and resources to low-resource regions where clinical research is granted less funding. It is the nature of a pandemic that one country lagging behind in areas such as vaccination and testing will inevitably impact the whole world. Viruses do not discriminate, and sharing research and resources as much as possible should be the goal for all medical care, not just in emergency situations.
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In addition to keeping you up to date on all things clinical trials, we also act as a digital CRO with a specific focus on patient recruitment and retention. We believe that patient recruitment and study startup (especially study design and study material) are heavily intertwined. After all, study design can make or break clinical trials, and the patient-perspective should be considered when designing studies to ensure that patient targets are met not only on time, but also on budget.
For Citruslabs, patient recruitment starts with study design and ends with trial completion. We recruit patients through our network of health apps, which enables you to connect with thousands of patients in real time. The best part: these patients are already educated and prepared for the clinical trial process.