Express Pharma

DCTs enable greater patient engagement through remote visits, eConsent, and patient-centric technologies

Gaurav Gupta, VP – Engineering at GlobalLogic, speaks about the evolution of Decentralised Clinical Trials (DCTs), its expanding role in the clinical research landscape, its technological facilitators and future trends, in an exclusive interview with Viveka Roychowdhury

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How has the role of decentralised clinical trials (DCTs) evolved in the clinical research industry?

The role of Decentralised Clinical Trials (DCTs) is rapidly evolving within the clinical research industry. While it initially focused on improving patient access to trials, they are now recognised for their immense potential to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire clinical trial process. This recognition has led to increased adoption and expanded utilisation of DCTs across a wide range of diseases and conditions. The transformation of DCTs within the clinical research industry can be observed through the following developments:

  • Enhanced trial data quality: DCTs offer opportunities to collect more accurate and comprehensive data due to real-time, remote patient monitoring and electronic data capture. This improves the overall quality and reliability of the trial data
  • Greater focus on patient engagement: DCTs enable greater patient engagement through remote visits, eConsent, and patient-centric technologies. This approach enhances patient participation and retention throughout the trial, leading to more representative and meaningful outcomes
  • Broader application: DCTs are now being applied to a wider range of clinical trials, including studies involving rare diseases, complex conditions, and specialised populations. This expansion allows for more inclusive and diverse trial populations

What are the primary reasons behind the increasing traction of DCTs in recent years?

The field of clinical research is currently undergoing a profound transformation fueled by technological advancements, evolving patient expectations, regulatory changes, and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors are driving key trends and shaping the industry in significant ways. From the integration of digital health technologies to the rise of decentralised trials, these developments are redefining the future of clinical research.

  • Advancements in digital technologies: Rapid advancements in digital technologies, such as mobile devices, wearable sensors, electronic health records (EHRs), and telemedicine platforms, have made remote data collection and patient monitoring more feasible
  • Patient-centric approach: DCTs prioritise the convenience and comfort of participants. By allowing them to participate in trials from their homes or local communities, DCTs remove geographical barriers and reduce the burden of travel and site visits
  • Broader recruitment potential: Traditional clinical trials of