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The rise of decentralised and real world research during COVID-19

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For years, the prospect of ‘virtual’ and decentralised research was discussed with hope as a potential disruptor to enable greater patient access and engagement for medicines development and reimbursement. While discussions were often marked by more hype than action, by 2019, digital and virtual models were being adopted across a range of clinical, late phase, and real world research settings. The benefits of adopting decentralised and virtual strategies have been clear for some time, standing to increase efficiency and reduce the costs of connecting with patients and generating evidence across the product lifecycle.

With this promise of benefit and a solid technological foundation in place, it seemed even pre-2020 that virtual and decentralised research was set for increased, if not entirely mainstream, adoption. Yet, none of us could have anticipated how dramatically the COVID-19 pandemic would change the scene and accelerate the momentum towards non-traditional research models for sponsors and CROs alike.

This first article in our inCisive blog series, CEO Dominic Farmer explores how the need for decentralised research has accelerated since the start of the pandemic, the impact that this has had on the market place and the key considerations for CRO’s and sponsors for the future of real world, late phase studies of all different scales and sizes.


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By: Dominic Farmer

21 September 2021