Healthcare Integration: How Do We Put The “Clinical” Into “Clinical Research”?

By Daniel J. Fox, MPH, Ph.D., Clinical Leader

I was a director of research at a local clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I remember when the world stopped and looked directly at our industry to save it.

Then, the entire world cheered for the pharmaceutical companies, frontline clinical sites, and, importantly, our clinical trial participants when vaccine candidates came to trial. Some of our sponsors released contractual payment withholdings, provided additional support to help us continue trials, and, for the first time to this extent, I witnessed our industry working in unison against a mutual problem.

In retrospect, some lessons were learned, but, to this day, some lessons have not yet been learned. The clinical research industry is not equipped to routinely handle such a burdensome demand. Its specialized systems are not designed to handle global-scale enrollments. Regulations do not readily and rapidly approve and translate technology for patient safety reasons. And, importantly, our clinical research sites do not have the resources they need to battle a worldwide crisis.

Clinical research had to adapt to solve our immediate global challenge. DCT technologies that were poised to deliver clinical trials directly to our patients were rolled out across the community to save the day. Adopting DCTs ensured a place in the future of research, regardless of their exponentially higher costs compared to traditional methods. Read more…