Technology has come a long way. Some of the milestones of technology usage can be seen in the medical and clinical sectors, utilizing it in medical setups, monitoring patients in remote settings, and conducting clinical trials.
So how does technology improve clinical trials now? It boils down to constantly monitoring the data feed, the cost efficiency of the process, and seeing how the clinical trials are affecting the patients from a distance.
You don’t need to get admitted to the research facility for your trials, and it won’t require spending hours wired to various heavy machines. Patients can feed the necessary data from the comfort of their homes, while researchers can make conclusions from a distance. Discussed below are a few points about how technology has improved clinical trials.
1. Creating a Patient Database
Clinical trials require an extensive patient database concerning the intended treatment goal. Of course, doctors will keep the patient information in their database. They won’t make it available to the public, and that’s something that medical companies respect while attempting to collect patient data.
With permission from the doctors and the patients, medical research centers gather patients with diseases that have yet to get proper courses of treatment. They store their pharmaceutical data to enable adequate help for potential investors to carry out their clinical trials.
They can also create a patient database by holding campaigns in front of various hospitals. These campaigns can focus on one medical issue at a time or collect data on patients with various untreatable disorders at once by having designated volunteers.
A properly structured outreach plan can help these researchers get a sizeable database to start effective trials. Besides, they should focus on minimizing the cost of conducting this research.
2. Contacting Patients via Digital Media
The presence of technology is found everywhere. Medical research specialists or representatives don’t need to visit patients individually at home or in the hospital to inform them of potential medical trials. They can now connect with likely clinical trial patients via emails, SMS, and social media.
Of course, they can’t breach patient privacy to get their information. They need to ask for permission from the doctors and the patients themselves to get the contact information. Even if the representatives can’t reach them, they can take the help of the doctors, who will then take permission to share information.
Campaigns can also help collect patients’ contact information; however, they should take proper steps to navigate clinical trials efficiently. Patients themselves or their families can voluntarily give this information and participate in the clinical trials to finally get a solution for the affected.
3. Monitoring Patients Remotely
Patients don’t need to reach research facilities to conduct clinical trials. They can, instead, carry out remote monitoring using health monitoring devices and constantly upload data to the facility’s data feed through wireless connections.
It has fewer chances of error with proper internet and electrical connections. Instead of missing out on relevant data, remote tracking devices will feed data into the system every second, thus creating a data pool for proper comparisons.
Let’s say there’s a new drug to cure migraine, requiring intense treatment and monitoring. The patient needs to record data on vitals before taking medicine on trial, the time of taking medication, and then repeat recording the same vitals after a period of taking medicine.
When done by hand, there can be a scope of error. However, with monitoring devices that feed data into the researcher’s system, there’s little room for error. Besides, systems can easily store all the data in segregated files for easier use and comparison.
4. AI Technology Improves Clinical Trial
This is something that the researchers need to prepare from their end to generate appropriate volumes of data fluently. They need to program their AI to distinguish between various types of patient input, such as heartbeats, blood sugar, oxygen level, medicine intake, etc. Of course, they need to work with specialized technology firms for that.
Clinical researchers need to employ a patient-centric approach to maximize their findings. The AI that the researcher will use has to be able to divide data into three portions: before, while, and after taking the medicines on trial. These will be recorded over a period, enabling the researcher to conclude the effectiveness of the clinical trial.
Feeding the AI with data is the patient’s responsibility; arranging the information is the responsibility of the AI. And making conclusions on whether the clinical trials are working, how effective the treatment is on them, and what side effects the patients are facing is the researcher’s responsibility.
5. Following Up After Trials
No matter how much technology you use, you still can’t record everything on your database. For example, if your patients suffer from specific side effects from the clinical trial, you may be able to capture statistics from the health monitor. However, you won’t be able to see the symptoms.
This is where routine follow-ups weekly or biweekly comes in handy. Researchers can contact their patients through calls or make direct appointments.
Besides, as soon as they notice fluctuations in the data that shouldn’t be happening, they can contact a family member of the patient on trial. They can know what’s happening and which hospital they’re visiting so they can see the patient witness the side effects.
By the end of the clinical trial period, the researchers can follow up with the patient to witness the overall progress. They can ask the patients what changes they’re feeling and how they’d like the treatment to improve.
Clinical trials need to be patient-centric to come to sizeable conclusions using technology. Research facilities can recruit their target patients through digital media communications to create the database they want to work with.
Technology improves clinical trials to make them more efficient, minimize errors, and bring out accurate results of how a new medicine works. Of course, they must give their patients full disclosure about how their information is utilized.