The COVID-19 pandemic greatly shifted how the healthcare system operates. While telemedicine isn’t a new idea, the concept surged in 2020 after the world experienced shutdowns. According to McKinsey & Company, telehealth utilisation was 78 times higher after April 2020 than in February 2020. Research suggests a spike in spending up to $250 million to shift from on-site to full virtual.
Some common practices of virtual healthcare include lab test results, prescription management, vital information review, and decentralised clinical trials (DCTs). DCTs accomplish more efficient and cost-effective operations. The purpose of these trials is to eliminate extra site visits for patients; this is accomplished through the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT enabled clinical trial would include tablets for data collection and/or medical grade wearable devices as well as seamless connectivity to deliver that data securely to the provider.
According to Synteract, a leading dermatology company for clinical trials, a Contract Research Organisation (CRO) is a service that “provides research services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies.”
In these trials, CROs will arrange healthcare protocol. These services help reduce the time and cost of trial development. The benefits of decentralised clinical trials improve patient engagement, data quality, and safety signal detection. Virtual trials are fully technology-based – from prescreening through treatment and follow-up.
So how do DCTs directly impact CROs? Decentralised trials are accomplished through IoT. IoT is what powers medical sensors such as smart weight scales, thermometers, or pulse oximeters for DCTs. Sensors and connectivity technologies are equipped into these devices that provide accurate, fast readings to cloud-based platforms to be analysed by professional healthcare staff. These devices include advanced medical wear, highly equipped tablets, and Bluetooth enabled sensors.
This data is securely stored, compliantly, in the cloud so it can be easily accessed by clinical providers – therefore accelerating time to the market and reducing hefty costs in the long-run. Without IoT, this process would be slowed down and Contract Research Organisations would be limited in not only their services to patients but also the pool of participants they could use due to location and access.
KORE provides seamless network management and wireless connectivity for healthcare solutions. IoT-powered decentralised clinical trials offer improved patient experience, an increase in quality of care, and advanced accurate data. To streamline this process of sourcing and data collection, KORE connects with leading Contract Research Organisations. CROs rely on resilient IoT technology to provide mobile device management (MDM) and secure clinical trials to their patients.
For a guide on where to begin with IoT for CROs, check out our eBook, "Key Considerations for Clinical Trials."
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