Technology apart from having grave presence across all facets of life has particularly played a transforming role in the area of healthcare and medical research. In the sphere of the latest scientific research fields, the use of the latest technology has come with new promises and possibilities. The best thing is, technology is having a positive impact on the outcome, precision and usability of clinical trials carried out by medical and scientific labs around the world.
In more than one way, the latest technology has really made the job of the researchers a lot easier as well as streamlined. The use of technology also made it possible for researchers to save a considerable amount of time. Technology has played an instrumental role in the way patients participate in clinical trials. Thanks to technology, patients and research subjects now feel more involved in the research process these days. Any software development company working in the field of medical and healthcare apps can find clinical trials as the new field to hold great promises.
Finding and Matching Patients for Clinical Trials
One of the greatest uses that technology provides researchers is the aid in matching patients to specific clinical trials. There are many tools that help to search the database of various clinical trials and help to find the ideal patients for the specific trials. This is done by taking the demographic and other data about the patients into consideration. These tools actually help to save huge time spent by the researchers in finding the ideal matches between patients and the specific trials.
Recently, the University at Buffalo has come up with such a tool. It came up with a smartphone app that helps patients to study and evaluate different clinical trials just for taking a decision on whether or not the patients can be the ideal matches for the said trials. Once all conditions match and they find the ideal match for the trial, they can take the next step of enrolling the patient only through the app just with the tap on a button. This obviously makes the entire process streamlined and faster. Thanks to such a fast-paced and streamlined process, researchers feel a lot more patients will be able to participate in the trials now.
Similar kinds of technologies are being developed by other companies as well. GenoSpace is another startup that is now working on another clinical trial matching app. In the case of this app, researchers will be the main users of the app and the app will be used to search through a big database that contains electronic health records. As soon as a match for the trial is found the app will send the researcher an alert.
Two apps that we mentioned above represent the latest technologies that are being used for finding and matching patients for various clinical trials. While already a few such apps exist and there are several others that are being worked upon. As many research facilities and clinical trial companies are depending on these apps for matching patients, we can see a lot of future advancements to happen in this direction.
Monitoring The Patients During The Clinical Trial
Mobile apps are already popular tools across all industries and professions including academics and researches. When it comes to clinical trials since mobile apps are widely used by medical researchers for a wide variety of use cases.
In the clinical trial, monitoring the patients after administering a dose of a drug under research is immensely important. Through the use of mobile apps, medical researchers are now capable to keep track of real-time patient data with ease. By using mobile apps patients can quickly report to the researchers.
In conjunction with mobile devices and apps connected wearable devices and apps are also playing a great role in automated patient monitoring. We already have devices like wearable heart monitors that can report the patient’s heart condition on a continuous basis and such wearable devices and their connected apps can make patient monitoring incredibly easier for the researchers and patients.
There are many patient monitoring tools and apps that also allow the patient to take a look at the health data being collected and sent through a mobile app. This boosts transparency in the process and increases patient satisfaction.
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The Future of Clinical Trial: Virtual Trials
We all know that technology is constantly making forward moves and diminishing obstacles at a faster pace to make way for innovations. This really gives us a feeling that in addition to all that already happened through the use of technology in the field of clinical trials, there are still a lot more advancements to come in the coming months. To give an overview of where the hi-tech clinical trial is moving forward, let us pick some of the near-future advancements that are in the offing.
One big advancement that can be a reality in the near future is the use of virtual sites which already looks probable since conducting clinical trials remotely without the presence of patients is already possible thanks to mobile apps and remotely connected devices. This will help clinical experts to monitor patients and keep track of the after-effects of the medications in a streamlined manner.
Pfizer way back in 2012 already made such a clinical trial by using remote monitoring. Though at that time the results were less than satisfactory, in the coming year’s such virtual trials will prove to be more efficient. In recent years, Novartis and Science 37 joined their efforts to carry out several virtual trials over a span of three years. Their efforts give the scientific community hope that virtual trials will be more accessible and effective in the years to come. It also makes the possibility bigger that someday, the vast majority of clinical trials will be virtual in nature apart from giving streamlined process automation a big role to play.
Technology-driven automation, remote monitoring, and easier patient matching are the three biggest advantages that clinical trial facilities and researchers are already enjoying. In the coming years, the virtual trials will also fall in line to help the role of technology even bigger in the field of clinical trials and medical research.