Life Sciences Professionals Believe COVID-19 Must Change Trial Management

September 30, 2020

As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, 41% of global clinical trials in fields other than COVID-19 (c.4,500) have been delayed or put on permanent hold. Looking ahead, 74% of life science organizations say that COVID-19 will continue to compromise their ability to deliver on clinical trial objectives for the next six to 12 months.

That is just one of the findings of a major new report, TMF Futures: Keeping Data Alive, published by Arkivum, in collaboration with clinical and regulatory software specialists Phlexglobal, the Ethical Medicines Industry Group (EMIG) and Survey Goo.

As the life sciences industry takes the conduct of clinical trials beyond the first wave of the crisis, 70% of survey respondents identify a crucial opportunity for changing the way clinical trials are conducted in the future—with technology as an empowering factor.

More than 200 life science professionals were surveyed, all of them directly or indirectly involved with the management of clinical trial data and the trial master file. More than half (51%) say that there needs to be more diversification of patient enrolment for clinical trials—e.g. that trials cannot focus on just one city, country or even continent. 37% say that more patients need to be enrolled to counteract possible future disruption, and 56% say there is a need for more virtual trials, incorporating telemedicine, remote monitoring of patients, wearable technologies, and mobile apps and devices.

Commenting on the report, Chris Sigley, CEO of Arkivum said,“In so many aspects of our professional and personal lives, COVID-19 has highlighted the practical value and transformational power of digital technology. Yet this report endorses a view expressed before the pandemic by influential voices: that in certain respects the life sciences industry has been outpaced by other highly regulated industries, such as banking and insurance, when it comes to digitisation. Now, as we all embark on shaping ‘the new normal’, is the time for the industry to overcome the digitization challenges it still faces.

For more findings, read the full report, here.