Traditional clinical trials can present challenges and risks around patient engagement and retention, and site costs including:   

  • Patient drop-outs due to site travel challenges;
  • Patient drop-out rates can result in additional expenses associated with recruitment timeline extensions or new site activations; and 
  • Cost and time impacts around transfer of data from on-site documents to electronic databases.

Virtual trials, also known as decentralized, remote or site-less clinical trials, offer an alternative, cost efficient and patient centric solution, alleviating the abovementioned potential risks and challenges. 

What are virtual clinical trials?

Modern technology now enables patients to participate in clinical trials from the comfort and convenience of their own home. 

These technologies include smartphones, apps, monitoring devices, delivery services, home healthcare support, and online recruitment, questionnaires and message boards.

A fully virtual trial: participants are no longer required to attend a trial site as every phase is remote (including communication and monitoring). All medications and devices are delivered to the participant directly and home support staff can travel to the participant. 

Hybrid trial: this includes a remote element and some face-to-face involvement at a trial site. 

Benefits of virtual clinical trials:

  • Higher recruitment rate potential 
    • Online platforms can facilitate faster and easier recruitment 
    • Geographically larger and more diversified recruitment reach for otherwise difficult-to-recruit candidates 
  • Lower drop-out rates and higher participant compliance as there are fewer obstacles for patients
  • Cost saving potential as there are fewer sites to manage
  • Ensuring clinical trial continuity despite social or environmental challenges/disruptions 

Key considerations:

As with traditional trials, there is a unique set of challenges that come with conducting virtual trials that need to be carefully managed, including participant engagement, technical accessibility for participants who aren’t tech savvy and robust online data security measures.  

Trusting Novotech to manage your virtual clinical trial

Novotech is proud to be supporting accelerated clinical development with its virtual clinical trial solutions that leverage the many regional advantages the Asia-Pacific region offers. 

Novotech has partnered with global virtual research organization ObvioHealth to provide virtual trial service solutions.

Novotech is positioned to support a diverse range of virtual clinical trials having managed hundreds of Phase I to IV clinical trial sites across a wide range of therapeutic areas and phases, delivering high IT security and quality standards for patients and biotech companies in the APAC region.

Novotech is a member of the Decentralized Trials & Research Alliance (DTRA). The DTRA enables collaboration of stakeholders to accelerate the adoption of patient-focused, decentralized clinical trials and research within life sciences and healthcare through education and research.

As a leading Asia-Pacific biotech-focused CRO, Novotech strives to continually evolve and adapt to the needs of our biotech sponsors and patients, to support life science advancements by providing innovative, scalable and world-class clinical trial solutions and services. Reach out to us today to discuss your virtual trial needs.