What is the future of clinical trials? And how can the new technologies, tools and models; the Internet of Things, mHealth, big data, social media, artificial intelligence, patient-centric care, biomarkers, personalised medicine and others, be used to reach that future?
The Future Of Clinical Trials
Many experts have many different ideas about this. Opinions differ and thus do the views of the clinical future. KNect356 Life Sciences asked a dozen of clinical trial experts about their views. Below we will discuss some of their answers.
Following Michelle Petersen, Founder of Healthinnovations, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a crucial part of the future of clinical trials. Reproducibility is the desired result for every stage of any clinical trial. Thus all stages must be taken into account. AI can be key when wanting to achieve this. By placing and interlinking this technology in every phase we can improve accessibility, adherence, drugs design and remote dosage systems.
It is key that the AI information bleeds smoothly from one phase to another. Lets say from drugs discovery to drugs design. By AI improving drugs design the mathematical extrapolations can improve and predict efficacy and safety of a drug. “In the future evolved AI will predict interactions and safety to the epigenetic level for even the most basic compound with a negligible margin-of-error; this will lead to highly desirable virtual trials, predicting and providing patient data for the outcome of each phase.”- (Michelle Petersen, 2017)
Dan Sfera, The Clinical Trials Guru, agrees with this view. He sees a future where automation and AI enable us to fail faster and therewith succeed quicker. The big data and advanced analytics can create an environment where connection and communication with customers (the patients) will be easier and better targeted.
Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist, states that the future of clinical trials lies with patient-centric models and cross-sector collaboration. AI and IoT make this change easier through advanced communication and information. However in order for the patient to be involved, seen as a partner and harvest ideas from different sectors, a fundamental culture change will need to happen. “We have to be open to new ideas from anyone anywhere on Earth.”- (Maneesh Juneja, 2017)
Bruce Hellman, CEO and Co-Founder of uMotif, agrees with Maneesh, stating a patient-centric approach is key and a big part of the future of clinical trials. He finds that as well for the research itself and the patients taking part, it is key to have more involvement and to create an overall view. This can be done with devices patients can use or wear. The information gained by these devices can deliver cheaper studies, lower dropout rates, quicker recruitment, a richer dataset and higher engagement, ever outside of the specific trial.
Finally, Isabelle Naëije, Associate Global Trial Director, GDO Trial Management Oncology at Novataris Pharma AG, finds personalised medicine a key future element. She states that in order to deliver the best possible care “we need to tackle clinical development of every compound as it was a compound for an orphan disease indication.” – (Isabelle Naëije, 2017). In the future and already now more and more, we do not longer treat breast cancer, we treat a sub-category of that cancer for a specific individual.
As you have seen there are many aspects regarding the development and the future of clinical trials. Believe me when I say there are still many more. The key aspect is that in the future the patient will be more central and the collection and analysis of information will be done in a broader and faster spectrum.
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