Digital data collection has played major roles in several aspects of our lives, reduced waste and removed room for human error. For example, airlines today transfer most of the data collection function to their customers, and we are willing (and even happy) to use our mobile devices to provide all the needed data, such as our seat preferences and other personal details. Banks have done the same, and so have other service providers. However, the field of clinical research has been slow in waking up to the immense benefits of digital data collection, and we cover some of the major considerations why this should no longer be the case.
How Mobile Devices Can Be Mobilized for Clinical Research
IT consumerization has made huge inroads into daily life, and it is now common for employees to use their own laptops and other mobile devices while doing company work. This trend can be tapped in the clinical trial space by allowing study participants to use their own devices to provide any needed information, rather than employing people to make journal entries or fill out survey forms.
Data protection, device synchronization and training of all participants is crucial if the digital data collection system is to work without hiccups and potentially-costly errors for the company engaged in important clinical research.
Why Digital Data Collection is Important During Clinical Studies
Lots of clinical trials involve thousands of participants, and gathering data from them manually, and then analyzing it manually, is very costly in terms of time, personnel and other resources.
Digitization cuts through all those challenges and significantly improves the accuracy of the data collected, and that means that researchers have a higher chance of getting answers to the issues they are investigating. For example, when patients provide data on the side effects they are experiencing while on an experimental drug, regulators and drug developers have a more accurate picture of the extent of any inherent shortcomings of the drug under development.
Not Everyone is a Digital Native
If you live in a busy metropolis, it may be hard for you to imagine that there are people who don’t have access to the internet or who don’t own a smartphone. Lack of connectivity and other such issues can be a real stumbling block in efforts to digitally collect data during clinical trials. Biomedical companies and other entities engaged in clinical trials therefore need to plan carefully and design mechanisms to adapt as best they can. For example, a data collection assistant can use their device to input data provided by older persons who don’t know how to use the internet.
All in all, digital data collection is the future of clinical trials, and companies engaged in research would do well to make the transition from manual systems to largely automated ones. Sector players like Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) have probably fine-tuned their digital data collection systems, and they are likely to move a lot faster than their counterparts who are still doing things the traditional manual way.
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