Virtual clinical trials also known as decentralised or remote studies, refer to clinical trials conducted without the need for the participating subjects to travel to a particular site. The traditional set up for a clinical trial requires the study participants to attend a health centre or hospital to facilitate for patient assessments and data collection relating to the clinical study.

The making of a medicinal product is a long and complex process and can take more than 10 years from research and development to marketing approval. In recent years, we have seen an increase in digital health technologies, such as mobile apps and remote monitoring devices, which have the potential to drive significant change in the clinical trials landscape. But there has been slow progress by pharmaceutical companies in utilizing the emerging technologies to enhance clinical drug development.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have caused widescale disruption to medical research activities, which has led to many drug developing organisations to conduct clinical trials virtually. By leveraging digital health technologies to conduct clinical trials remotely, data collection, patient recruitment and other aspects of conducting a clinical trial have become easier and it is hoped this will help to accelerate the overall drug development process.

Almost everyone has had to adapt to new ways of working since the Covid-19 outbreak, and clinical trials are no exception to this. Find out more about clinical trial regulations with Axco's clinical trial market reports.