Who Is Involved In A Clinical Trial?

Who Is Involved In A Clinical Trial?

Clinical research is required for the continued medical innovations that we enjoy to this day. Without clinical research and the trials that they involve, we would have trouble deciding when treatment is safe and available for use by humans. Depending on the subject of the study as well as its stage of development, clinical trials may require involvement from varying professionals as well as treatment subjects.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at how clinical trials function, their key benefits, and the professionals who ensure that clinical trials are performed correctly.

What Is a Clinical Trial?

Simply put, clinical trials are professional research studies performed by experts to determine if a medical treatment, device, or strategy is safe for human use. These studies assess how effective an approach is by providing the researchers with key points of reliable data used to make decisions regarding the safety and efficacy of the product.

There is a range of clinical trials to be aware of, so let's briefly outline them below.

Types of Clinical Trial
  • Treatment - Treatment research focuses on intervention, typically through medication, surgery, medical devices, or therapy. Treatment-focused trials are looking for solutions to specific issues.
  • Prevention - The medical community will always prioritize prevention when possible and Prevention Research helps. Prevention research susses out the different kinds of preventative processes available to potentially benefit our health, from vitamins and vaccines to nutrition and lifestyle choices.
  • Screening - These clinical trials focus on the identification of specific health conditions and disorders through the screening process.
  • Genetic Studies - Genetic studies assess how we can predict disorders based upon the relation between our genes and potential illness.
  • Quality of Life - Individuals struggling with chronic illnesses can benefit from Quality of Life research. These studies focus on the areas where health can be improved for patients in need of long-term care.

Different Phases of Clinical Trials

While there are a variety of clinical trials with varying focal points, they are all more or less sorted into different phases. Phases help clinical researchers to address different goals at different phases of their efforts, tracking the safety and efficacy of their work.

  • Phase I - At this stage, researchers are testing an experimental remedy on a small group of individuals for the very first time. This process is undertaken to evaluate the safety of the treatment, the best dose range, and all of the potential side effects.
  • Phase II - As research transitions into Phase II, trials expand to encompass a larger group of patients. At this stage, researchers are identifying if their Phase I trials were accurate, taking notes, and furthering their evaluation along the way.
  • Phase III - If Phase II goes swimmingly, phase II trials expand into an even larger group to confirm the efficacy of the treatment. At this stage, researchers will also pin the new treatment against existing options.
  • Phase IV - The final stage of trial research includes a post-marketing study following treatment approval by the FDA. This study will provide even more information on the drug's risk/benefit ratio as well as its best applications.

Who Conducts Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are immensely important to the health of our society as well as the prevalence of technological and medical breakthroughs in the future. As you can imagine, this is a pretty serious process that requires active involvement from health experts and medical professionals.

Here is a short look at who is involved in a clinical trial as well as what their purpose is during the study. Keep in mind, many research trials will vary based upon application, industry, and purpose.

  • Doctors / Investigators - Clinical trials are overseen by qualified medical professionals, mostly doctors and other similar specialists. Lead doctors act as principal investigators as they guide the trials forward, connecting with sub-investigators among the qualified clinical research staff. Tasks include patient interactions, clinical assessments, laboratory testing and ensuring the safety of participants.
  • Clinical Research Coordinators - As doctors have their special fields, so do research coordinators. Clinical researchers such as nurses or medical professionals with a medical degree will coordinate the participant’s visits and follow up interactions. These professionals organize all appointments, track tests, monitor outcomes, and collect data.
  • Sponsors - Clinical trials are often associated with specific companies, leading to non-industry sponsorships. Sponsorships may come by way of charity, through a hospital, or even from a university in the area. Sponsors help to ensure that a protocol is properly designed and as safe as possible for participants.
  • Study Participants/ Volunteers – The individuals that participate in clinical trials are the most important component of a successful trial. These study participants first are asked to understand as many aspects of the trial as possible and then decide whether they would like to participate. Depending on the trial, they can be asked to take an investigational medicine or other treatment so that its effects and safety can be properly evaluated.

While every member of the clinical research study is important, everything comes down to having the right pool of participants for each study. ClinicalConnection helps ensure that the right participants are finding the right clinical trials.

About Clinical Connection

Founded by research professionals in the pharmaceutical field, ClinicalConnection helps to connect and facilitate the recruitment of quality patients for clinical trials around the nation. ClinicalConnection has been connecting patients and researchers with proven marketing and recruiting strategies since the early days of its inception in 2000.

Become a member and learn more about clinical trials and the benefits that these services provide.