Report finds most CROs establishing digital trial models

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

October 14, 2021 -- Contract research organizations (CROs) are addressing challenges from the rapid move to decentralized research trials amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with most clinical leaders now focused on establishing digital trial models, according to a new survey from Veeva Systems.

The "Veeva Digital Clinical Trials Survey Report" examined the opportunities and implications of decentralized approaches on clinical trials. It surveyed more than 280 clinical leaders worldwide.

Most trial sponsors and CROs (87%) reported using some type of decentralized technology, which is up 59 percentage points from before the pandemic, according to the report. During this uptick, companies added an average of four new applications to their clinical landscape, leading to issues with data collection and stakeholder collaboration, as well as impacts on quality and speed.

The report suggests that sponsors and CROs are taking action to address these challenges. Nearly all respondents (95%) said they are working to establish a unified digital trial foundation to improve information sharing and collaboration across stakeholders, create better support sites, and eliminate silos through a connected ecosystem, Veeva said.

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