Focus on the Patient: The Digital Evolution of IRT


Applied Clinical Trials

Cenduit has benefited greatly from the relationship we have with our parent companies, from Quintiles’ clinical development experience to Thermo Fisher Scientific’s clinical supply chain know-how.

Cenduit has benefited greatly from the relationship we have with our parent companies, from Quintiles’ clinical development experience to Thermo Fisher Scientific’s clinical supply chain know-how. Their knowledge continues to be important for us in the development of innovative Interactive Response Technology (IRT) solutions that address the needs of CROs and sponsors in a landscape that is constantly evolving.


Two years ago, Quintiles released a new report, “Harnessing the Power of the Digital Patient,” which explored how companies that can successfully engage with the digital patient will distinguish themselves and increase their probability of success. As an IRT specialist that prides itself on seeing things that others don’t, we took this information to heart and embarked on a mission to discover how digital trends and new technologies might align with the needs of sponsors in an effort to enhance patient management, streamline product development and accelerate adherence.

Delving deeper into this theme, Cenduit developed a Clinical Trial Site survey to examine the functionalities that improve study efficiency and patient retention. Through several private and sponsored surveys, we asked a diverse group of IRT system users to tell us about their challenges and concerns. Supporting findings from the Quintiles report, results showed that 96% of sites felt online drug accountability would improve their overall efficiency if added to their existing platform.

In fact, all three survey results showed clear parallels from both patients and clinical trial sites regarding drug accountability and the need for improved patient communication, including:

  • Patients aren’t always returning medications and sometimes save it for future use, impacting the trial’s drug accountability process.

  • Sites find it useful to have real-time tracking of the investigational product. However, even if sites can do this, it is difficult for them to provide accurate data if the unused medication is never returned to the site.

The underlining notion from these findings, in addition to our discussions with customers, was that sites simply wanted to maximize the time they have devoted to their patients. Thus, we needed to incorporate the same mindset when it came to IRT solutions for these clinical trial sites.

Drug accountability is a fundamental and intricate process in clinical trials that sites are required to perform, so this became a key concentration for us in the development of a new IRT system interface designed to enhance digital patient management. Creating a dynamic, easy-to-use tablet- and mobile device-friendly website for customers, this new IRT system gives users what they are asking for in terms of flexibility and speed – greatly improving access to data systems and ultimately allowing sites to focus their attention on the patient.

Breaking the mold of traditional systems, the website allows sites to do things they previously hadn’t been able to do, generating quicker transactions, integrating custom reporting tools, embedding role-specific user interfaces (rather than one size fits all) and providing 24/7 access to the global help desk through the web chat feature. Our ability to engage with patients through digital patient reminders also further reduced efforts of the clinical coordinator, especially when it came to long-term extension trial periods to ensure stronger data and a more successful trial.

By opening up the doors to new processes in IRT that aligned directly with feedback we received from sites, we were able to ensure this new platform was more than just another IRT system. This attentive approach to sites in conjunction with new trends in areas like technology is key to maximizing value for sponsors using IRT services. From harnessing the latest digital trends, to ensuring integration with eClinical System, this close collaboration will remain a big part of Cenduit’s culture and serve as a key feature in IRT’s position as an integral piece to the clinical trial puzzle.    


Grant Dietrich is Director of Account Management for Cenduit.


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