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An EDC platform that utilizes the cloud to create more efficient, cost-effective clinical trials is a must in today’s clinical research industry. And it was a key theme at the 2018 Society for Clinical Data Management (SCDM) annual conference.

Today, there are a growing number of data sources collected across unified or integrated platforms.  The increasing volume is significant, but it is manageable when combined with the greater efficiency and accessibility of being on the cloud. Together, there is potential to increase the speed of clinical trial work significantly. Ultimately, speed saves time and money, which can ultimately be redirected to other research priorities. 

Conduct More Work From the Tool

One of the opportunities that the cloud presents is the ability to add integrations to an EDC platform, which enables study administrators to do more things directly from the tool. The SCDM 2018 conference discussed possibilities like a drug supply plugin that could easily contact pharmacies to order prescriptions, or an integration with local transit providers to provide real-time transportation options for patients who need to visit a clinical site. An EDC platform on the cloud can support integrations with other services, making things easier for patients, researchers, and physicians.

On-Demand Processing Speeds

One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is one you might not notice at first. Cloud-based EDC platforms run on-demand, moving fast when you’re conducting your study and using less resources when you’re not. They can be minimalist when you’re conducting a simple study, and they can become more robust when things get complicated. The cloud gives EDC platforms flexibility and potential.

Fewer Up-Front Costs

When your EDC platform adapts directly to the specific needs of your study, your vendor doesn’t have to invest in hardware and software, which further drives down your costs. And when the cost of your EDC platform goes down, more of that money can go into your research. Typically, the cloud is less expensive because there is less initial investment for set-up.

But the most important takeaway from the SCDM 2018 conference is that if you’re not on the cloud, you have to get there. While cloud services aren’t a new concept in general, their potential is just beginning to revolutionize the clinical research industry. From cost- and time-saving measures, to reliably storing your research data, to integrating with other tools and services, a cloud-based EDC platform opens new doors for clinical research studies.