67% of healthcare experts plan to use decentralized clinical trials in the near future due to COVID-19, says GlobalData

Healthcare experts have noted that their number one primary concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic was the delay to initiation or inability to conduct clinical trials, according to a recent survey by GlobalData*. This is not a surprise, as the data and analytics company notes that at peak over 1,200 clinical trials experienced some level of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote patient monitoring and shifting towards the use of decentralized clinical trials were the top two methods respondents are using to address disruptions. Out of 150 respondents, only 34% were already using decentralized clinical trials – with most located in North America. Contract service providers were the biggest current adopters.

Furthermore, according to 67% of survey participants, COVID-19 is the reason they plan to use decentralized clinical trials in the future.

Brooke Wilson, Trials Intelligence Associate Director at GlobalData, comments: “Respondents overwhelmingly noted that the shift toward decentralized clinical trials was already planned, but COVID-19 sped up this timeline to the next 1–2 years. The top reason given for this shift was for the greater accrual of patients. The majority of respondents also consider the cost of decentralized clinical trials to be lower than that of traditional trials.”

Revati Tatake, Databases and Analytics Global Director at GlobalData, added: “The top challenge for transitioning to decentralized clinical trials relates to the changes that need to be made to procedures, processes, and/or systems, followed by unclear regulatory acceptance. Because of this, many adaptations are expected in order to succeed in transitioning to a decentralized clinical trials model.”

* Survey completed between June 4 and June 22

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