Survey finds lack of easy exchange of clinical trial data

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A new survey of medical researchers finds many have the desire to streamline clinical trial processes.

All researchers surveyed reported the need to improve information exchange, driven by the necessity to reduce manual processes, improve collaboration as well as increase visibility and oversight during trials, according to the vendor.

On average, survey respondents indicated that they use at least three methods to share clinical trial data and documents among sponsors, clinical research organizations and research sites—with email the primary tool for exchange.

Study start-up is one of the clinical areas with the most potential to improve trial efficiency and speed, the survey finds, as most researchers still rely on spreadsheets.

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However, according to the survey, sponsors and clinical research organizations are moving toward use of purpose-built study start-up software to speed cycle times; nearly a quarter are now doing this. Half of respondents highlighted the importance of collaboration in driving clinical trial efficiency and speed.

Further, organizations are beginning to adopt more modern clinical trial management systems, which bring better analytics and reporting results. However, for many researchers, challenges remain because of the prevalence of legacy systems.

An application making its way into life sciences is an electronic trial master file (eTMF), which is a content management system to manage clinical documents across the lifecycle of a trial, and other promising tools are in the pipeline, says Jim Reilly, vice president at Veeva.

An eTMF supports document uploading and creation, document classification, document indexing and document storage.

“There is a significant industrywide opportunity to improve study visibility and partner collaboration to speed trial execution,” Reilly adds.

“As more sponsors, clinical research organizations and sites focus on streamlining clinical processes and systems, drug development will become more efficient and stakeholders will be better aligned throughout the trial lifecycle.”

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