Clinical.ly is a customer-centric organization focusing on providing software solutions that put clinical research sites in control. To help understand the challenges research sites face, we teamed up with Georgetown University to conduct a survey to better understand the changing dynamics of clinical trials resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The essential highlights of this survey are listed below.
1. Readiness to shift to remote access and the types of technology used.
Many of the participants in our survey (47.83%) reported that they were somewhat ready to shift to remote access when the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, only 4.35% of participants said they were fully prepared to make this transition.
When asked about the types of technology adopted to shift to remote access, an overwhelming 42.5% of participants responded with eRegulatory as the answer. Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) was the second most common technology used, followed by eSource (15%), eConsent (12.5%), and other modalities, such as Zoom and remoting auditing and monitoring portals (7.5%).
Q1 – How prepared were you to shift to remote access when COVID-19 happened?
Q2 – What types of technology did you adopt to move towards remote access?
Around 21.7% of participants found that adopting modern technologies was a straightforward task throughout their organizations. However, 34.8% of the participants believed that it was somewhat difficult to get an organization-wide buy-in to adopt novel technologies.
The biggest roadblock encountered with sponsors or contract research organizations (CROs) was a lack of guidance on the expectations from adopting new technologies (30.8%). Refusal to allow for reimbursement and the difference of mandatory system from the organization’s own system were two other challenges our participants faced. A small number of survey participants stated that they did not run into significant roadblocks. However, they found that the CROs were slow to activate their system access, and in some cases, had to be reminded that their access had been previously granted.
Q3 – How difficult was it to get organization-wide buy-in for the adoption of this new technology?
Q4 – What roadblocks did you encounter with sponsors or CROs when adopting new technologies? (Select all that apply)
3. Reliance on paper products
60.9% of the participants reported that their dependence on paper documents had decreased due to the transition to remote access. In comparison, 26.1% of consumers said they noticed no change in their reliance on paper.
Q5 – As things have changed, how do you view your reliance on paper documents?
4. Continuing the use of technology on returning to normalcy
In our survey, 60.9% of the participants believed that if they lacked modern technologies and electronic systems, it would not hinder their ability to participate in clinical trials. Nevertheless, most of the survey participants (82.6%) said that considering the increasing need to shift to more remote access, their organizations are now more willing to consider the adoption of new technologies. In addition, many consumers (65.2%) were firmly in favor of continuing the utilization of technologies they began working with, even when the COVID-19 restrictions were not in effect.
Q6 – If you don’t have some of these electronic systems, would that hinder your ability to participate in some trials?
Q7 – With some restrictions being lifted in many locations, how likely are you to continue to utilize the technology you have begun working with?
Q8 – Since the need to shift to more remote access, are you and/or your organization more willing to consider adopting new technologies?
Our survey results indicate that most of the clinical trial sites were not entirely prepared to shift to remote access when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Moreover, significant barriers had to be overcome in some organizations to implement and utilize modern technology. However, it is evident from this survey that in recognition of the increasing need to move towards remote access and the benefits of advanced electronic systems, more and more sites are now prepared to adopt modern technologies.
Clinical.ly is a provider of cutting-edge tools and technological solutions to the clinical research industry and can assist different research facilities in making a smooth transition to electronic systems. Please set up a consultation today to learn more about the remote means of safely performing clinical research offered by the Clinical.ly Research Suite.