The Power of Technology - The science surrounding medicine moves at incredible speeds, with healthcare providers increasingly becoming more focused on technology that can support these demands. All new medicine regimes must be studied, trialed, and tested – things that take a long time – before they can be presented again to the general public. Luckily for current patients, there has been an emergence of technologies that are helping to reduce the barriers that prevent people from accessing certain treatments, expanding inclusivity within trials and methods that include digital participants, further reinforcing the need for decentralized clinical trials.
These technological innovations will mean enormous benefits for how clinical trials and their designs operate, offering much more efficiency. Read on to find out how these technological advancements from large tech companies will influence treatments and interventions for future patients.
What Does the Future Hold?
1. Technology offers more efficiency in clinical trials
With recent developments in technology and clinical trial software, clinical trials can be carried out both efficiently and more effectively to achieve results faster for those involved. With the expansion of technology, patients will also be able to access certain therapies more quickly. In our world today, over 10,000 uncured and sub-optimally treated diseases exist. Unfortunately, the fight to try and fix this moves slowly, as only 55 drugs are approved yearly in the United States. This is due to the significant barriers in participation around trials, as some of the challenges include needing to travel, which for many patients isn't possible.
2. The Implementation of AI
Making sure participants are complemented with data from real-world studies will really help with the success of clinical trials. Thankfully, this is becoming more common in clinical development. It might seem like a lot at first, but what if a clinical trial process was able to source participants who are ideal for the study but they're not actual humans? Thanks to developments in AI and data, this concept is becoming possible. This concept is the key contributor behind “digital twins,” which is otherwise known as a virtual representation of patients built entirely on historical data. The digital twins are followed in normal time to repeat the biological processes and outcomes, similar to that of a human patient with the exact same characteristics taking part in the clinical trial.
Although this concept is pretty difficult to get your head around at first and sounds almost too futuristic to be true, digital twins are already being used in clinical trials today, with no plans on stopping in the near future – only developing further. They do not just assist in the recruitment for trials but enhance the trials and offer quicker insights. The quickness of using digital twins means that a constant streamline of trials is available, speeding up overall insights into the disease and its state and enabling researchers to come to a biopharmaceutical solution quicker.
Solutions for the Future
With the new revelations in technology, it is essential for researchers to look for solutions that will help access solutions for the future. One of the most significant barriers to clinical trials is the entrance of patients. This includes difficulty in finding patients who are eligible to take part, the travel and timing requirements some might need, and a general lack of diversity in the type of patients found. This, along with many other hurdles, has meant delays in getting the correct therapies to patients in need, despite the fact that the science of drug development is quickening.
Thankfully, innovations in technology mean that they are making an impact in the clinical trial space. As mentioned previously, these technological advancements, such as the digital twins, suggest that insights can be found without human patients. Additionally, one positive that came out of the COVID-19 lockdown is that people are much more accustomed to doing things in a remote setting, including testing. As well as the acceleration in drug development and approvals, these new improvements mean that accessibility to trials for patients across the country can assist in prioritizing diverse populations for studies in the future.
The reason behind this? Technology. It acts as a bridge, helping to connect science to our communities. In the future, it is likely that clinical trials will be more of an integrated part of daily life. It will make a significant impact on the healthcare system, playing a more prominent role in our communities.