How to Find The Right Clinical Trial Automation Software
By TOI Staff November 2, 2022 Update on : December 8, 2022
Clinical trials are essential in developing drugs and other types of medications. Apart from establishing efficacy, these time-consuming and costly processes validate a proposed treatment’s safety by identifying its potential adverse effects.
Estimates reveal that companies spend an average of USD$48 million for every clinical research. Because of the costs and resources involved, research teams must be equipped with the right tools, including automation software, for accurate study outcomes. Below is a guide to finding the best automation solutions for clinical trials. Read on!
What Is A Clinical Trial Automation Software?
Clinical trial automation software is the umbrella term for electronic-based solutions that can be used in one or most of the phases of the activity. Drug development activities undergo several stages. The trial proper consists of at least three steps to validate and re-validate the proposed product’s safety and efficacy.
Clinical trial automation software can also integrate most of these tasks for better management. This product is called clinical trials management software or clinical trial management system (CTMS), and you’ll find out more about it in the succeeding sections.
With several solutions available, it can be challenging to pick the most ideal one, especially since each option could impact the research negatively or positively. But, here are essential steps you can take to lead you to the best clinical trial automation software:
Evaluate Your Requirements
The first step in your search for the best clinical trial automation software is identifying your research requirements. Several considerations must be in place to ensure the software solution works well. These include:
- The features you need to make your work more efficient
- User-friendly interface and dashboards
- Easy integration into the rest of your systems
- Adjustable settings
- Vendor’s reputation, after-sales support, etc.
Aligning the software functions with your clinical trial procedures and setup increases the chances of picking the best solution. Thus, you need to prioritize the most important elements from the list above according to your needs.
Understand The Product’s Features
Like conducting research, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate potential automated solutions. It’d also help to understand the most common software and their features. CTMS and EDC are the primary software solutions used in research.
Clinical Trial Management Systems (CTMS)
CTMS is a cloud-based comprehensive solution to access and update essential trial data. The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, and numerous aspects must be considered, including financial reports, data analysis, and regulatory compliance. However, such systems’ functions could vary from one product to another to suit the specific needs of various businesses.
Electronic Data Capture (EDC)
This software, also known as clinical data management (CDM), allows for the conversion, storage, and analysis of patient data in a clinical trial. It enables users to ensure accuracy and integration with other electronic patient record systems.
While these systems can be tailored to suit different research types, such as medical device research and drug development, they all possess basic data management functionalities. As such, it reduces the time and cost incurred in the research.
Compare The Costs And Your Budget
Any software purchase is a substantial investment in an already costly clinical trial. Estimates reveal that drug development takes about 10 years to complete. For example, it took about nine years to develop the chickenpox vaccine.
Apart from the upfront price and the ongoing research costs, it pays to be prudent by considering the ownership costs of clinical automation trial automation software. Check whether the quotation includes installation, downtime, update, and maintenance fees. If the vendor offers training costs, determine whether additional charges are involved.
Take these fees into account to avoid surprises that can derail your operations moving forward. Creating a shortlist of potential products can help you manage expenditures without compromising the results.
Create A Shortlist And Ask For A Demonstration
After aligning the features and requirements, choose at least three potential products that best address your needs. Discuss with the vendors for further evaluation and ask for a demonstration to cement your decision. Ask relevant questions about the products, particularly each one’s pros and cons.
Trials are valuable in providing your research team with experience working with the software. Members can compare and choose the best solution for current and future research activities by trying out all potential solutions.
Decide With Confidence
The final decision will be up to the research sponsors or executives, but with valuable input from the research team. The ideal clinical trial automation software must live up to its title by streamlining workflows. Additionally, it should promote data transparency and integrity by reducing human error. More importantly, it should be scalable so your team can still use it as you get more research requests or expand.
In choosing the best research software, pick the solution that best addresses your needs and provides the most value. Don’t go for a product with all the bells and whistles, extra features, or discounts. Going this route could compromise your activities and the results, leading to questionable or failed studies.