IRT Market Dynamics and Service Provider Benchmarking: Market at a Crossroads

October 21, 2014
Andrew Schafer

Applied Clinical Trials

Spoiler alert: most IRT systems are not meeting user expectations in terms of eClinical integration.

Interactive Response Technology (IRT) incorporates both interactive voice response systems (IVRS) and interactive web response systems (IWRS). IRT systems are used at sites to optimize drug availability by managing data of patient diaries, drug and patient randomization, drug supply, and much more. Overall, these systems are designed to provide sponsors the opportunity to run more efficient trials in terms of both time and cost. However, as trials become more global and more complex, IRT systems are expected to handle more data coming from a variety of sources. Are these systems meeting user expectations? The short answer is “sometimes.” Along with cost challenges, ISR found that sponsors want more user-friendly systems, need faster start-up times, and require integration with other eClinical technologies. Spoiler alert: most IRT systems are not meeting user expectations in terms of eClinical integration.

ISR recently released our “2014 IRT Market Dynamics and Service Provider Benchmarking report” in which 24 IRT vendors (including in-house systems) were rated by 105 users across 20 system attributes. Anticipating that integration would be a challenge with eClinical technologies, ISR decided to take the unique approach of benchmarking IRT vendors’ integration with 20 EDC vendors, 14 ePRO vendors, and 29 CTMS vendors. This provides a closer look into the eClinical space, focusing not only on use and selection but on integration as well.

Many of the questions answered in this report offer projections regarding the utilization of IRT services as well as what sponsors would like to see improved as the IRT market moves forward. The number one improvement listed in this report is “Integration with other systems” and roughly half (48%) of respondents aren’t integrating their IRT systems at all. This “integration gap” affords IRT service providers a real opportunity to differentiate their offerings.

The chart below shows the trends in IRT integration. ISR asked respondents with which eClinical technologies their company has integrated IRT application(s). Respondents were able to select multiple integration points. (Base = 105 respondents)

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