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The Rise of Decentralized Clinical Trials: Transforming Research Through Technology and Patient-Centricity

Learn how decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) are reshaping the clinical research landscape. Explore the insights shared by Shaheen Limbada, EVP of Innovation and Strategy at Veristat as he discusses the lessons learned from the pandemic, the role of technology in enabling DCTs, and the future of these innovative trial approaches.

Decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) have emerged as a transformative approach in response to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These trials aim to improve patient recruitment and retention, remove geographic barriers, and enhance the patient experience. In this podcast with Shaheen Limbada from Veristat, the role of technology in enabling DCTs and the lessons learned during the pandemic are discussed. 

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DCTs are defined as patient-centric solutions that include virtual site models, at-home nursing, e-consent, and remote data collection. While the demand for DCTs has slightly decreased post-pandemic, hybrid models that combine traditional and decentralized approaches are gaining popularity, particularly in complex patient populations. Lessons learned from the pandemic include:

  • The need for clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Flexibility in protocol design.
  • Effective communication for data flow and collection.

Technology is vital in facilitating DCTs, with telehealth, e-consent, ePRO, and remote monitoring being several of the crucial components. Veristat addresses the challenges of DCTs through flexibility in protocols, patient care management, and validating patient-reported outcomes. Contrary to misconceptions, DCTs can be applied to various study types by providing protocol optionality and decoupling clinic-based activities. Early planning is essential for the success of DCTs, as it allows for establishing infrastructure, resource management, and ensuring interoperability. Decentralized trials alleviate patient burdens, improve recruitment and retention rates, and potentially save time and cost.

They also enable the capture of new data types that may not be obtained in traditional settings. Veristat differentiates itself through its patient-centric approach, interoperability of data sources, and the role of patient care managers. DCTs are changing how studies are conducted, making them more patient-focused and efficient.

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