Decentralized Clinical Trials - What Are They?

Decentralized Clinical Trials - What Are They?

Clinical trials are constantly evolving to keep in step with the medical field and to make it as convenient as possible for volunteers to join. One advancement is the introduction and adaptation of decentralized clinical trials.

What Are Decentralized Clinical Trials?

Decentralized clinical trials are unique in that they bring the trial directly to the volunteer. In many cases, people view clinical trials as having to travel periodically to the clinical trial location to receive study treatment, undergo monitoring, etc. This can make it challenging to recruit volunteers outside of the geographic limits of the trial center, meaning the range of participants may not accurately represent the individuals who could benefit most from the study treatment or medical device being tested.

Decentralized clinical trials bring all aspects of the clinical trial to a accessible range for the volunteer. This can be through telemedicine or mobile/local healthcare providers. Decentralized clinical trials can include fully remote clinical studies or virtual clinical trials.

Technology is the most significant aspect of decentralized clinical trials. The advancements and incorporation of technology into healthcare has made it possible to develop decentralized clinical trials.

These types of clinical trials use processes and technologies that differ significantly from the traditional clinical trial model and are proving to be immensely beneficial for studies that offer participants a decentralized option.

The Benefits of Decentralized Clinical Trials

Easier for Volunteers

As with traditional clinical trials, decentrialized trials put participants first by doing what they can to make it as easy as possible for the volunteer to participate. Volunteers are adequately informed about what the clinical trial will involve, any known potential side effects; they always have the option to discontinue the trial whenever they want. These aspects of clinical trials are universal, no matter the type of trial.

Decentralized clinical trials take it a step further by easing some of the travel and participation burden placed on individuals enrolled in a clinical trial. For example, instead of traveling to the trial location every for a weekly check-in with the research team, a telehealth visit can be scheduled, saving the participant time spent traveling to and from the trial site.

Increased Participation

By making it easier for volunteers to complete all aspects of the clinical trial, decentralized clinical trials open the door for a greater number of participants since there is less worry about travel and time commitments.

In addition, utilizing technology allows decentralized clinical trials to expand the testing area since individuals no longer need to be physically close to a trial center. This allows for more a diverse pool of volunteers. This means clinical trials can produce more conclusive results since data can be collected from individuals of different ages, genders, ethnicities, and other factors that may contribute to the effectiveness of the study treatment.

Increased Completion Rate

Decentralized clinical trials help limit the number of volunteers who choose to discontinue their participation in the clinical trial. Everyone has that option, and with the travel and time commitments, some people involved in standard clinical trials may choose to drop out.

However, decentralized clinical trials, especially virtual clinical trials, require a much smaller time commitment, meaning individuals may be more likely to stay in the clinical trial until it is complete.

If you are interested in joining a study, you can use to search clinical trials near you and learn more about what is available.

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