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5 Ways You Can Shorten Clinical Study Timelines

Cassidi Williams

The life sciences industry is under unprecedented pressure to accelerate study timelines safely and effectively. Because of the enormous time and resources involved to get a medical solution to market, accelerating clinical trial timelines while maintaining patient safety is a focus of leaders across the industry. Compounding internal industry and market pressures, the recent deluge of pandemic-driven media coverage of clinical trials means the public has unprecedented awareness of what’s happening in clinical pipelines.

Shorten clinical studies without impacting quality and impact

In this global pressure cooker, reducing study times while meeting heightened expectations for data depth and quality is a monumental task. However, certain targeted and intentional changes can have a big impact on the overall trial duration. Here are five ways you can shorten study timelines:

  1. Right People, Right Seats (Before Launch).
    Business guru Jim Collins popularized the idea of getting the right people in the right seats to make an endeavor successful. This is uniquely true in the rapid launch of DCTs. It is critical to partner with a strong DCT platform provider that helps you optimize your study’s launch. This should include an initial session to align and confirm all aspects of the study before finalizing process flows, documentation, and timelines, long before your study launch. A comprehensive and scalable DCT platform provider can help drive speed to study launch and avoid many common delays.
  2. Engage Study Participants Early In The Onboarding Process.
    Craft your study with a model that enables early participant communication. Connected and engaged participants are far more likely to complete tasks on time. Consider adding eQualification or eConsent to the onboarding process, especially if digital recruitment is utilized. Simple steps like common Quality of Life (QoL) surveys may increase participants’ sense of having a voice in the study. But more effective methods, including adding features like telehealth to empower direct engagement at participants’ homes with the added benefit that it often increases health and safety monitoring.
  3. Design with Automation in Mind.
    The ability to set up an automated process in a platform can significantly decrease study time both on the initial design and throughout trial execution. Automated processes decrease human error, lessen process time and capture aligned data more efficiently and accurately. To ensure these actually function in a complex digital landscape, it’s critical to work out data flows with your DCT provider early in the process. The more data flows through centralized providers, the more automation can accelerate workflows.
  4. Deploy Real-Time Clinical Study Reporting.
    Deploying one decentralized research platform that dynamically captures patient and site data allows sponsors and CROs access to configurable on-demand visualized data. Not only does this type of reporting lessen day-to-day study management, but it can also quickly create a baseline to standardize design, highlight areas for mid-trial process improvement and create benchmarks in real-time. Together this provides a major advantage compared to waiting until an interim evaluation to realize a study design flaw.
  5. Consider Global Usability & Compliance Factors.
    Life sciences studies are increasingly deployed on a global scale. Ignoring usability and compliance protocols can add significant time to any study. Make sure your platform partner understands global regulatory and data privacy requirements and utilizes those in decentralized study features. This is particularly critical when considering a complete pipeline. Find a partner that can grow with you so you don’t end up re-inventing the wheel when moving from early to late-phase studies.

Shortening clinical study timelines with proper DCT implementation

Choosing to execute a decentralized study will not automatically make your trial faster. In fact, without correct implementation, it may even make the processes slower and more cumbersome. To truly minimize study times, it’s critical to involve a partner that understands how to design and deploy efficient DCT trials. Additional benefits include sponsor satisfaction, increased staff engagement and retention, improved patient satisfaction and more robust clinical data. For additional information on how you can optimize your clinical trials and reduce study timelines, visit THREADResearch.com

Noah Goodson, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Consulting, THREAD

Noah has forged a career as an entrepreneur and scientist in clinical research. He combines innovative thinking and data-driven solutions to implement technology into decentralized trial design.

View Noah’s LinkedIn Profile.