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In our last blog, we described the myriad of challenges that face clinical trial sponsors and CROs. Technology is an important component in addressing these challenges. The constantly evolving clinical trial arena requires a strong technology foundation. Clinical research teams are evaluating and acquiring enabling technologies at record speed. The global clinical trials management system (CTMS) market size is expected to reach USD 1.62 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. However, expensive, time-consuming and resource-intensive investments in enabling technologies often put artificial constraints on the clinical research team. Modern clinical trials demand modern technologies that offer functionality AND flexibility.

What is Pragmatic Modernization

The best way to adapt to evolving demands while maintaining compliance, saving time and money and still having the flexibility required in modern clinical trials is to employ pragmatic modernization – a simple approach to technology acquisition that acknowledges the need for cutting edge technologies to address today’s clinical research demands along with emerging requirements of the future, while also considering the ongoing pressures of cost and speed.

Pragmatic modernization points toward configurable technologies that offer a balance of functionality with practicality and new features with costs and flexibility, that best supports evolving clinical trial requirements. Unified platforms with modular feature sets support the diverse needs of an industry in transition. While the platform offers core functionality, modular components enhance the depth of capabilities while expanding the breadth. This approach helps sponsors and CROs effectively meet the pressures and demands of the present while positioning them to take advantage of new technologies in the future.

Whatever your situation, your approach to technology should reflect your current priorities, yet be flexible enough to shift with new demands. A well-planned, practical technology approach can help you meet immediate goals while also positioning your team for long-term success. It is driven more by current requirements and expected future pipeline needs rather than “bells and whistles” and “nice-to-have” features that don’t directly support your research goals.

A partnership with the right technology vendor is key. Clinical trial sponsors and CROs want to know that their technology partners have the operational capabilities as well as the strategic willingness and vision to support their goals.

The possibility of faster data collection, better patient compliance, increased data quality and shorter trials is very appealing. But new data sources and increasing quantities of continuously streaming data require CROs and competitive sponsors to pivot quickly to be able to accept and process this data in near or real-time. Machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation are beginning to address this need. At the same time, data capture systems need to provide the flexibility to enable users to adapt to evolving protocol requirements and/or mid-study changes.  In the constantly changing world of clinical research pragmatic modernization helps clinical trial sponsors and CROs sift through the “noise” in the marketplace and use technology where and when it is needed most.

The pragmatic modernization of clinical trials requires striking an optimal balance of addressing current requirements with being able to adapt to future needs.

Benefits of Pragmatic Modernization

This approach makes good science more readily available and helps to identify and mitigate risks of non-compliant, non-standardized, inaccurate or incomplete data – all through the use of platform technologies that provide core functionality and flexibility, combined with strategic integrations that offer adaptability.

Pragmatic modernization helps clinical trial sponsors and CROs to build capabilities driven by their specific needs, while also striking an optimum balance of features and cost. Progress in individual areas generally positively impact progress in other areas because clinical trial process optimization can be contagious and can motivate improvements up and downstream. Teams can also track and re-evaluate requirements on a regular basis since many requirements will be dynamic and may shift in relative importance over time. It provides important functionality for today and critical flexibility to meet the demands of tomorrow. Mednet recently published a white paper titled, The Pragmatic Modernization of Clinical Trials. To learn more about this practical approach to clinical trial technology, you can download the white paper here.