I was recently a guest on one of our mdtalks – our monthly podcast where we discuss the most critical issues impacting clinical research, the patient experience and the future of healthcare. We were looking back at 2022 and vocalising our hopes for the coming year.
My biggest takeaway from 2022 was that DCTs finally have a seat at the table. Although it’s long overdue, we take it as a massive win that the industry is finally starting to wake up to how much more successful trials can be if they evolve and take advantage of digital innovation.
MedTech is becoming embedded, and we saw the publication of the Recommendation Paper for Decentralised Elements in Clinical Trials in December.
2022 felt like a consolidation year for the DCT
There is much to celebrate as we move into 2023. But is it enough? The answer for me and everyone at mdgroup is an emphatic ‘no’.
Decentralised clinical trials continued to gain traction, growing from 912 trials in 2020 to 1,293 in 2021, and the market is expected to grow by another 15% in the next five years.
But DCTs are just the start of the patient-centric journey, and our experiences of the last few years have brought us to a pivotal moment in the evolution of clinical trials:
- The Pandemic and how we shifted trials from being anchored ‘at site’, to a more fluid, patient-focused, decentralised model rocketed the industry’s trial capabilities forward by about ten years
- Our regulators are still playing catch-up, which allows us to lead them in how DCT methodology should be regulated to give our patients the best possible experience.
- We have access to MedTech, which enables us to personalise and decentralise the patient experience like never before
- Patients now understand that flexibility exists and are demanding it
The Patientcentric Hybrid Trial
We can see an even more exciting future for the clinical trial – a hybrid model that puts patients at its heart.
We can personalise the trial experience to give patients the care they need, when they need it, delivered in a way that invites them to become a partner in their care – not just a subject of research.
This Patientcentric Hybrid Trial model of delivering a trial experience puts a patient’s needs and care at the centre of their trial design and is the future of efficacious clinical trials.
By really listening to the patient and using everything we’ve learnt over the past few years, we can revolutionise the clinical trials industry and reach the holy grail of global health equity.
The only blocker to the revolutionisation of the clinical trials industry is the industry itself. We are fighting dinosaurs.
Our industry is beset with reluctance to change. Habitual trial design is driven by an unwillingness to commit to new commercial frameworks – but investing in methodologies that work well for the patient is an investment in the success of a trial.
Crucially, putting a patient at the heart of a trial doesn’t just make commercial sense; it’s also morally the right thing to do.
We can see a future for the clinical trial and it is hybrid.
What do you think?