As governments, communities and medical professionals around the world focus their energy and resources on containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the good news amidst so many worrying headlines is that the technologies we need to improve patient access and experience in clinical trials are available now.

The application of these technologies can overcome barriers to trial execution and improve data sharing and process efficiency in remote locations. More importantly those technologies can be used immediately to ensure progress for thousands of clinical trials in an environment where patients are expected to stay at home.

The same can be said for our traditional clinical trial model. Limiting trials to physical sites inherently limits patient access and limits interaction to in-person visits which results in prolonged trial periods. During a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not advisable.

Decentralised clinical trials look more attractive than ever. The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) defines decentralised trials as those trials performed  with telemedicine and mobile/local healthcare providers, using procedures that vary from the traditional clinical trial model, meaning the trial is conducted remotely with the participant remaining at home.

Now, as health authorities worldwide struggle to contain the COVID-19 virus, there is a renewed push to rapidly implement remote healthcare delivery capabilities.

Decentralised trials are designed for exactly this type of situation. Patients can be recruited and consented remotely. Site visits can be conducted remotely via telemedicine. Data can be captured remotely via medical devices and mobile technology.

All of this expands the ability to conduct research by releasing trials from physical sites—critical when people around the world are being told to “stay home” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It reduces the risk of pathogen exposure to research participants, while potentially accelerating drug and vaccine development.

With all of this in mind, there is an immediate opportunity for decentralised trials to help us through these challenging times, using digital and mobile technologies to improve patient access, experience and outcomes.

IPS Pharma is able to offer a ‘Direct to Patient’ (DTP) service, a vital option for patients in decentralised locations during this pandemic. If you would like to discuss adding a DTP option for your protocol please get in touch