Digitisation is not only helping in reducing barriers to participation in clinical trials, but also boosting participant experience.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the awareness levels of various digital technologies being used in clinical trials such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and mobile applications.

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Analysis of the poll responses shows that awareness is good about telemedicine, remote patient monitoring and mobile applications being used in clinical trials. While 28% are aware of telemedicine, 22% are aware of remote patient monitoring and 20% are aware of the use of mobile applications.

Awareness about wearable devices and digital biomarkers is relatively lower among the poll respondents, with 13% and 12% respectively being aware of them. Whereas other connected devices with biosensors being used in clinical trials is known to just 5% of the respondents.

People most aware about the use of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring in clinical trials

The analysis is based on 93 responses received from the readers of Clinical Trials Arena, a Verdict network site, between 08 February and 18 May 2021.

Digital technologies in clinical trials

Clinical trials serve as the basis for validating new products and drugs, but the development process is often time-consuming and expensive. Digital health technologies such as telemedicine and wearable health devices are enabling pharmaceutical companies to perform trials safely, efficiently and at a much lower cost by conducting them remotely instead of a hospital or university.

Digital health tools enable passive reporting of data, which requires minimal or no effort from the participants. It helps in reducing the number of patients visits, improving outcomes and increasing the number of patients being monitored as well as the availability of data. These tools also make patient participation easier by improving adherence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased people’s awareness around clinical trials aided by the continuous media coverage related to vaccine development. The existing interest should be capitalised by communicating regarding ongoing research programmes to encourage participation. The concerns related to the use of digital tools in clinical trials, such as privacy and security, also need to be addressed to improve trust among patients.