Fragmented processes and system silos are slowing down the clinical trials, according to a new Veeva 2019 Unified Clinical Operations Survey, conducted by cloud-based software provider Veeva Systems.

The research has found all the 100% respondents reported the need for improved information exchange among study partners.

On an average, at least three approaches are adopted to share trial data and documents among sponsors, CROs, and sites, with email being the primary tool.

Most of the respondents said that the move to streamline information exchange is driven due to growing need to cut down manual processes (71%), improve collaboration (66%), and boost visibility and oversight (64%) during trials.

Almost all sponsors and CROs (99%) said that they need to unify clinical applications to gain improved visibility (70%) and easier collaboration (61%).

Several challenges in managing trials come due to siloed processes and systems that prevent a full view of study progress and slow trial execution.

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Among the top two issues cited are integration (68%) and reporting (57%). Both of these issues are the direct result of clinical system silos.

Study start-up is considered to be one of the clinical areas with the most potential to improve trial efficiency and speed. All respondents stated major challenges with study start-up, may be because of the heavy reliance on manual processes since most (81%) use spreadsheets to manage this aspect.

Almost all respondents (95%) said that they require to improve the use of CTMS in clinical operations. Most respondents cited better analytics and reporting (68%) and increased visibility (60%) as the primary reasons.

About half of sponsors and CROs (48%) said easier collaboration is a top driver, thereby highlighting the importance of streamlining communication and information sharing during execution.

Vault Clinical vice president Jim Reilly said: “There is a significant industrywide opportunity to improve study visibility and partner collaboration to speed trial execution. As more sponsors, CROs, and sites focus on streamlining clinical processes and systems, drug development will become more efficient and stakeholders will be better aligned throughout the trial lifecycle.”