In the wake of the pandemic, clinical research activities experienced major changes. Usually, clinical trials involve quite a lot of human contact between patients and caregivers. On top of this, patients need to check in to the healthcare facilities to get tests and follow-ups on the treatments. This culture had to end since regulatory bodies cited healthcare facilities as some of the highest risk areas. Since patients taking part in clinical trials done by an organization like Veristat have other prevailing health conditions, it was overall appropriate to cancel these appointments to promote patient safety. Below find how a post pandemic world looks like for clinical research.
Remote testing, monitoring, and treating
In a normal non-COVID situation, patients would have to travel to the facility and get tested and monitored on their conditions. However, the pandemic changed this as movement restrictions were put in place. With human contact greatly discouraged, researchers had to turn to conduct their studies remotely. So, patients would participate in virtual clinical trials through top digital connections such as mobile apps at the place of their periodic visits to the clinics. This way, researchers would gather the patients’ information in real-time.
Drugs delivery shifted to patients
The purpose of clinical research is to establish the right drugs for patients. Essentially, this involves testing what works by observing how the patients are reacting to these drugs. Before the pandemic hit, health facilities would receive the meds and then allocate them to patients upon their next visit. However, the post pandemic world poses a different approach. Now patients have direct access to their medication. Since drug delivery is now direct, patients will not experience the pressure of picking them from a health facility. As much as this keeps the research ongoing, it also keeps the patients protected from the virus.
Sponsors and CROs have had to redefine protocols and policies
For a clinical trial to be successful, protocol adherence and data compliance are key. In a typical clinical trial, there’s a need for data verification and patients’ consent. However, this is different for a post pandemic world. To begin with, sponsors and CROs should redefine the trial protocols and policies to suit the current situation. For instance, if the clinical trial was supposed to run for a given time, that can change based on what is allowed. This is because the pandemic disrupted the normal way clinical trials would be run. So, it’s up to CROs and sponsors to rewrite the protocols as needed.
Clinical trials are faster, accurate, and economical
The effect of the pandemic on the world of clinical research is not all bad. Fortunately, there are some positives worth noting. When you closely check the clinical research process, you’ll note that post pandemic trials are now running faster, are more accurate, and economical. The technology aspect has streamlined everything for the study. If it’s for data collection, it’s now done in seconds thanks to the use of efficient digital tools. The follow-ups also happen in real-time such that the patients can manage to attend them remotely. Also, patients are saving on resources such as travel costs to the facilities and time used for the same.
Clinical research has changed during the pandemic and more changes can be expected post pandemic. even then, it’s worth noting that trial processes have improved and even generate more accurate data for improved drug development.