In our most recent blog post, we dug into some of the biggest technological trends in the clinical research industry with the expertise of our co-founder and CEO, Susanne Mitschke. One of these innovations includes the virtual clinical trial model, often headed by digital contract research organizations (CROs).
We believe that digital CROs offer major benefits to brands seeking clinical research for a variety of products, ranging from supplements to skincare and even wearable biotech. Namely, virtual clinical trials offer increased trial accessibility and diversity, improved patient engagement and retention, more accuracy in data collection, and lower research costs.
What are Digital CROs?
Digital CROs offer virtual clinical trial services, which are conducted either entirely online or as a hybrid involving a mix of in-person visits and remote communication. They offer an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar CROs which may require participants to make visits to a physical site in order to be involved in clinical research.
A digital CRO can help your brand with every stage of the clinical study process, from designing the right trial for your needs to helping you publish your newly created product claims.
Increased accessibility and diversity
One of the primary benefits of working with digital CROs is that they can increase the accessibility of clinical trials for participants. Virtual trials can be conducted from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for people to join in from the comfort of their own homes, and enabling those in more remote areas to participate. Additionally, virtual trials can reduce barriers to participation such as travel time and costs, which can be a significant obstacle for some individuals.
This in turn attracts a wider range of people to your study and can lead to increased diversity in the participant pool, which can improve the generalizability of study results.
Improved participant engagement and retention
Virtual clinical trials often use technology, such as mobile apps and wearable devices, to collect data from participants. This can increase participant engagement by providing them with real-time feedback on their progress and allowing them to actively participate in their own health management. Additionally, virtual trials can reduce the burden on participants by allowing them to complete tasks and assessments at times that suit their individual schedules. This can lead to increased participant retention, as participants are more likely to stick with the trial if it is convenient and less burdensome.
Increased efficiency and lowered costs
Working with a digital CRO can also be more efficient and cost-effective than approaching your product research as a traditional clinical trial. By eliminating(or reducing in the case of hybrid studies) the need for physical sites and in-person visits, virtual trials can save time and money on logistics, staffing, and infrastructure. Additionally, virtual trials can often be conducted more quickly than traditional trials, as recruitment and enrollment can be done remotely and data can be collected in real time. This can lead to faster study completion times and greatly reduce costs for your brand overall.
Improved data accuracy
Virtual trials can also improve data quality and accuracy by reducing the potential for human error and improving data collection methods. Mobile technology or wearable health devices can be used to collect data in a standardized and consistent manner, which can improve the reliability and validity of study results. Additionally, virtual trials can reduce the potential for self-report errors and hindsight bias by providing participants with real-time data collection options that allow them to update their progress as it happens rather than exclusively at intermittent office visits.
With a digital CRO, you are given the opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of your product research. With hybrid or virtual clinical trials, you can increase trial accessibility and diversity, improve patient engagement and retention, and collect more accurate data all at a faster pace and lower cost than in traditional clinical studies.
Digital CROs are a great option for brands of all sizes, as they can support you as much as you need during every stage of the research process - whether you’ve conducted product research before or not!
Want to create your own clinical trial?
Citruslabs provides a simple and affordable way to prove that your products actually work. At Citruslabs, we design a clinical trial that is right for you and your budget, so you can start sharing research-backed product claims without spending a fortune. We offer the cohesive planning and management required to conduct successful clinical trials, from start to finish. Ready to get started? Let's talk! You can contact us here.