Clinical Trials – The Movement Towards Decentralized Clinical Trials

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Decentralized Clinical Trials Market Overview

The decentralized clinical trials market size was 1,291 (trials) in 2021. DCTs also known as virtual trials or direct-to-participant trials, can be defined as clinical trials that use a virtual component to assist with any aspect of the trial itself, including data analysis, data collection, enrollment, and monitoring. DCTs have less necessity in traditional research facilities and data collection structures.

It uses virtual components, such as telemedicine, in-home devices, mobile healthcare, mobile technology, wearable devices, virtual home visits, direct delivery of study drugs and materials to patients’ homes, and other virtual elements to assist with key elements of a clinical trial. The decentralized clinical trials market research report provides a breakdown of DCTs across several clinical trial sectors. The report also highlights the use of DCTs in the industry and against institutional sponsors.

DCT Market Dynamics

The greatest increase in DCT occurred during 2020–2021. DCT usage greatly increased, mainly in 2021, due to increased lockdown measures and global restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. DCT usage is still relatively high for 2022 and the year is still ongoing. North America dominated both industry and non-industry-sponsored DCTs. DCTs have proven to be cost and time-effective, especially with the use of mobile healthcare, remote patient monitoring, and electronic tracking systems.

DCT Market Segmentation by Regions

Some of the key regions in the DCT market are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and South and Central America. North America dominated industry and non-industry DCT trials.

North America is moving toward increased use of DCT trials. Big pharmaceutical sponsors based in the US are looking for new ways to streamline clinical trials, and DCTs have been proven to be effective in doing so.

DCT Market Analysis, by Regions

DCT Market Analysis, by Regions

For more regional insights into the DCT market, download a free report sample

DCT Market Segmentation by Components

Mobile healthcare, telemedicine, wearable devices, web-based technology, and others are the key components in the DCT market. Mobile healthcare was the key virtual component for most trials. Challenges from traditional trial design can be overcome with the use of mobile healthcare.

DCT Market Analysis, by Components

DCT Market Analysis, by Components

For more insights on components into the DCT market, download a free report sample

DCT Market Segmentation by Researched Area

Some of the key researched areas in the DCT market are the central nervous system, metabolic disorders, infectious disease, respiratory, oncology, cardiovascular, and others. The central nervous system is the most researched therapy area for DCT trials.

DCT Market Analysis, by Researched Area

DCT Market Analysis, by Researched Area

For more DCT researched area insights, download a free report sample

DCT Market - Competitive Landscape

Some of the leading companies sponsoring the trials in the decentralized clinical trials market are GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, and others. Within industry-sponsored trials, GSK has the largest DCT count.

DCT Market Analysis, by Companies

DCT Market Analysis, by Companies

For more insights on companies in the DCT market, download a free report sample

DCT Market Report Overview

Market Size (2021 Trials) 1,291
Key Regions North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and South and Central America
Key Components Mobile Healthcare, Telemedicine, Wearable Devices, Web-Based Technology, and Others
Key Researched Area Central Nervous System, Metabolic Disorders, Infectious Disease, Respiratory, Oncology, Cardiovascular, and Others
Leading Companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Others


  • Decentralized clinical trials usage is on the rise
  • North America has conducted the most DCTs
  • Mobile Healthcare is the top virtual component used

Reasons to Buy

  • Provides a breakdown of DCTs across several clinical trial sectors.
  • Identifies which areas are using DCTs the most.
  • Highlights the use of DCTs in the industry and against institutional sponsors.





Novo Nordisk

Takeda Pharmaceutical

Boehringer Ingelheim Johnson & Johnson


Eli Lilly

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


• Report Scope

• Methodology

Clinical Trials Landscape of Real-World Evidence Trials

• 2022 Projected to Be a Leading Year for DCTs

• The Largest Proportion of DCTs Are in Phase II

• Mobile Healthcare Is a Key Virtual Trial Component for DCTs

• North America Leads for DCTs

• North America Dominates for All Virtual Components

• North America leads Single-Country DCTs, Followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific

• US Leads DCT Usage

• Central Nervous System Is the Most Researched Therapy Area for DCTs

• Type 2 Diabetes Is the Most Researched Indication for DCTs

• Low Accrual Rate Is the Leading Cause of Trial Termination

• More Industry Trials Achieve Their Endpoints

• GSK Is the Top Industry Sponsor for DCTs

• Duke University Is the Top Non-Industry Sponsor for DCTs

Key Findings



Figure 1: Number of DCTs by sponsor type and year

Figure 2: DCTs by phase and status

Figure 3: Virtual trial components by status

Figure 4: DCTs by regional distribution

Figure 5: Virtual components by region

Figure 6: Single-country and multinational DCTs by region

Figure 7: Distribution of DCTs by top five countries

Figure 8: DCTs by therapy area

Figure 9: DCTs by indication

Figure 10: Reasons for trial discontinuation of DCTs

Figure 11: Completed trials endpoint status, by sponsor type

Figure 12: Top industry sponsors for DCTs

Figure 13: Top non-industry sponsors for DCTs

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