New findings from Cloud-based software provider Veeva Systems have revealed that contract research organisations (CROs) are eliminating manual processes and modernising key areas of clinical trial execution to improve study performance.

The ‘Veeva 2019 Unified Clinical Operations Survey: Annual CRO Report’ revealed that CROs are making enough progress to streamline information exchange and accelerate clinical trials.

Key highlights of the survey include the need for streamlining trial collaboration, accelerating study start-up, and increasing the adoption of advanced clinical applications.

All the CROs surveyed cited the need to streamline information exchange among study partners. At present, they share trial data and documents with sponsors and sites in multiple ways.

It is noted that email is CROs’ primary method to exchange information with sites and sponsors, yet most of them still use paper shipments.

CROs report various challenges with study start-up and it is reported that more than three-quarters use spreadsheets to manage this area.

Vault Clinical vice-president Jim Reilly said: “CROs are leading the industrywide drive to improve execution and collaboration for faster clinical trials.

“As more organisations reduce the manual and fragmented processes that are prevalent today, drug development will become much more streamlined and study partners will improve how they work together throughout the course of a trial.”

CROs started using more clinical technologies, such as using RTSM, eTMF, and CTMS systems, to eliminate manual processes hindering operational performance.

The survey examines the progress of CROs towards a unified clinical operating environment by collecting the experiences of CRO respondents worldwide.

Earlier this month, Veeva Systems launched Veeva SiteVault Free, an eRegulatory solution for clinical research sites.