2022 Trends, More of the Same but More

Published on: 
Applied Clinical Trials, Applied Clinical Trials-12-01-2021, Volume 30, Issue 12

What does 2022 hold for industry?

It’s a wrap. 2021 is almost over and 2022 is at our door. It’s also that time of year where industry predictions, outlooks and trends for the next year begin. While the next issue of Applied Clinical Trials won’t be available until February (a combined January/February issue), we will be posting contributed industry trends online. And, of course, you can always visit us for the latest news, contributed articles, blogs, and more.

But what follows is what the editors offer as top trends for the clinical trials industry for next year. Albeit, some of it may be wishful thinking.

Continued focus on diversity and inclusion in clinical trials representation. This is not a new problem in clinical trials. However, it’s had a resurgence due to the need for heterogenous populations to be included during COVID-19 vaccine trials. Across the board, it would be a better practice if the population studied was representative of the population intended to receive the potentially approved medicine.

Getting representative populations into trials is not easy. This year, the hope is that the many calls to action heralded this past year translate into actual solutions and processes to move that needle in clinical trials.


Decentralized and hybrid trials. We could not get out of the way fast enough for this wave of necessity during COVID. However, this year we should start seeing actual case studies of what works, what didn’t work so well, and proof of applicability due to the regulatory approval of medicines that used a decentralized process.

Influx of solutions, apps, and platforms for clinical trials. This has already started in a big way because of the previous trend. From medication adherence, to digital clinical trials platforms, to patient recruitment (see first trend) and retention, to study start-up feasibility...there is a whole new group of third-party service providers for industry to consider, vet and evaluate.

Continued focus on the relationship between CROs and sponsors. As the biotech and small biopharma sponsor space continues to grow, so does the need to conduct more clinical trials. CROs continue to focus on providing the right blend of services to those who haven’t traversed the clinical trials path before. Focusing on their true needs and not blowing up their small budgets is going to be key to good relationships and quality trials. So all in all, 2022 will be much, much more of the same.

Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Applied Clinical Trials. She can be reached at lhenderson@mjhlifesciences.com.