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Each year we eagerly await the kick-off to the conference season with Arena’s Outsourcing in Clinical Trials (OCT) West Coast event. The conference brings together biotech and pharmaceutical clinical operations, outsourcing and procurement management, while showcasing innovations and technological advancements in the clinical trial space. This year was no exception and although the event was virtual, OCT West Coast managed to gather over 800 clinical trial professionals, looking to meet their peers and share insights into how we can conduct clinical trials of the future.
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Running a rare disease study includes many challenges. It’s a more difficult patient population to access which leads to difficulties in patient recruitment, fewer medical experts available, navigation through often complex regulations, as well as potentially complex study designs. This small population makes these studies expensive as you need more sites, maybe across more countries with more time in conduct to achieve your recruitment targets – resulting in costly set-up, management and monitoring of your study.
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Modern technologies support agile processes for clinical trials 95% of attendees to our webinar this week agreed with the central message that processes and supporting technologies commonly used in clinical trials are outdated, and furthermore they contributed to the huge disruption of clinical trials caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Systems and methods for data collection, monitoring, review and analysis have evolved in a piecemeal fashion, and whether well suited or not, are normally “bolted together”.
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This was one of several deliberately thought-provoking questions raised in our webinar last month, “COVID-19: The catalyst for long overdue change in clinical trial technologies and processes”. In the first session, Gurpal Ahluwalia (Partner at BDO Life Sciences) assessed the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials and the reasons why the industry has found itself in such difficulty. Cmed CEO, David Connelly, then shared some further perspective on the shortcomings of existing technologies and processes and suggested these contributed to the degree of disruption caused by the pandemic.
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Question: Your webinar presentation earlier this week was quite provocative. Could you tell us a bit more about your background? TCC: I started writing software and building computers from scratch from a very early age. My father and I ran an educational software company when I was a teenager, and then I went on to read Engineering and Computer Science at Oxford, capping this with a DPhil in AI before co-founding Cmed Technology - a lifetime writing, designing and creating enterprise platforms with a specialism and passion for the clinical trial space.
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Cmed Technology announced today the encapsia Home Visit app is now available to capture and manage clinical trial data from patients at home or in the community. The app works seamlessly with all the other encapsia apps, including web EDC (Entry app) and direct data capture (esource app) to provide tremendous flexibility in the choice of data capture methods both before and during a study. This helps maintain patient participation and clinical data flow which is particularly compelling to minimize disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in the new landscape for clinical trials that is expected to follow.