CIOs Need to Look Beyond Traditional Approaches in Order to Optimize Time and Money Spent on Clinical Trials

By Kimberly Brue | September 30, 2020
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Clinical trials can be both costly and time consuming, but there are solutions that can help lower costs and create efficiencies. This article provides insights and tips that are sure to help you overcome some of the obstacles keeping you from optimizing your clinical trials.

If you work for a life sciences company specializing in the development of new drugs and therapeutic biological products, then you are probably aware that costs associated with clinical trials have skyrocketed. In fact, according to a 2018 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, they have increased by nearly 100 percent over the last 10 years.

Clinical trials alone now cost life science companies, on average, anywhere from $12.2 million to $33.1 million. One of the biggest reasons for the rise in cost has to do with optimizing how the trial is conducted and the resources used to execute it.

The good news is, technologies are available today that can help pharmaceutical developers save significant time and money, while also improving processes and workflows. However, CIOs need to look beyond traditional clinical applications and work to implement digital solutions developed specifically for clinical trials, but that also keep the entire enterprise in mind. The reason for this is simple; traditional technologies are somewhat siloed and do not always stretch across research department boundaries. For organizations focused on agile methodologies, this old way of managing clinical trials makes no sense.

The reasons organizations get stuck using outdated methods are varied, but often include one or more of the following:

  • The organization is tunnel-visioned on departmental efficiencies, ignoring the benefits of big picture trial optimization and cycle time acceleration.
  • The IT department is locked into the habit of incremental solutions upgrades, because they feel this reduces risk of disrupting operations. IT has been given no incentive to take risks on digital transformative solutions.
  • The organization passed over clinical operations technologies in their search for enterprise-wide technology upgrades.
  • The organization views any new expense as a negative, and site operations and related expenses already account for too much of the trial’s cost. Meaning; clinical operations are on the front lines of the battle against trial costs.

The truth of the matter, though, is that technological innovation should be a continuous, ongoing endeavor within clinical development. Increasing efficiencies and optimizing processes is the key to driving down costs, and it can only be accomplished with technologies that are focused on clinical trials and that are compatible with enterprise-wide workflows. These types of solutions help clinical operations teams optimize their trial processes by eliminating unnecessary steps, better allocating resources and prioritizing critical activities across departments.

Digital tools like P360’s Trials360 help life sciences companies to connect previously isolated department to the clinical trial process. And data management tools like Data360 help to integrate siloed systems by making critical clinical data more visible across the enterprise. Solutions like these enable clinical teams to improve trial performance, supporting data-driven approaches that once seemed impossible.

Although digital tools often require an initial time and money investment, the dividends become clear in a short amount of time as the organization is able to better manage and utilize trial data. Improvements in data quality, for example, may not save time and cost for the department that crunches the data. It may require more time and processing. However, the benefits will compound as the data moves through the organization with fewer quality checks, inputs, and cross-checks.

This data efficiency leads to improved clinical processes, including trial operations, site monitoring, data management, trial planning and feasibility. The ripple effects often continue well after specific trials are over, as teams find more ways of leveraging the data.

To better understand the benefits of implementing new digital tools, one must first understand the pieces of the clinical trial puzzle they help optimize. For example, Trials360 offers a clinical trial management system, enabling faster site selection and startup, enrollment, execution and tracking. Another important aspect of tools like Trials360 is that they integrate with existing systems, helping to reduce downtime while ensuring a seamless flow of information across operations. Technological tools can help to support multiple studies across various sites, while safeguarding clinical trial processes and data.

With that in mind, as you work to find solutions that will enable your organization to improve clinical trials, lower costs and increase efficiencies, there are some key questions you should ask. Here are a few:    

Will it help speed patient recruitment?

Patient recruitment for clinical trials is a rapidly evolving function for digital solutions focused on clinical trials. Thanks to multichannel marketing, data analytics, natural language processing and patient communities, there is an increased availability of data for these tools to utilize. And products like Data360 can be used to help provide insight into where trial subjects can be found, helping teams maximize trial participant enrollment.

Can it optimize site management and communication?

Clinical operations leads understand that that there are many challenges associated with site startup. As a result of the myriad of paper processes that surround the investigator sites, life science companies have long struggled to streamline site startup and communication. However, when you couple Data360 with Trials360 and our IoT powered Swittons devices, you get a powerful platform for both managing trials and automating remote communication between once siloed offices and systems. 

Will it improve management of trial resources?

Life science organizations often overlook forecasting and planning technologies, opting instead for spreadsheets. But new tools have emerged, like Trials360, which help improve study forecasting, study planning and management, and portfolio analytics. And they offer a smart, user-friendly interface that beats fumbling with spreadsheets any day. 

Does it include a clinical data repository?

New data platforms like Data360 provide smart reports and mapping tools for clinical development. Built to integrate with other enterprise level systems and solutions, these data warehouses enable out-of-the-box dashboards that are made for clinical use cases. These digital systems are easy to deploy, and can be custom configured for specific workflows.

If your answer is no to any of the important questions above, then your investment in that particular solution should be reconsidered. Look instead for a solution like Trials360, which works across multiple departments and integrates easily with existing systems and processes. All of P360’s solutions are built with an agile, omnichannel mindset. This ensures that all of your important clinical trial data is assimilated across the entire enterprise, and not trapped in departmental silos.   

As your organization evaluates solutions for transforming clinical trials, we hope this guide helps lead you to the perfect place.