For years, technology and software companies, as well as CROs, have been pitching the benefits of patient-centric technologies to sponsor companies. FDA guidance on protecting the safety of patients suddenly has sponsors scrambling for technologies that will allow them to gather patient data without having them travel to hospitals and clinics. Many companies are also contacting IRBs for guidance on modifying protocols to better accommodate patients. Sponsor companies and sites are calling on technology and service providers to ask what can be done and done quickly to preserve trial activities. Patients will welcome the option of not having to travel for those appointments and risk getting sick. Payers, whether it was insurance companies or Medicare and Medicaid, required face-to-face meetings often as a condition to warrant the fee-for-service model. Remote visits are part of the future of clinical trials. Today, 50 percent of drugs are biologics. The pandemic has taught us that sites can and will stop seeing patients. Home healthcare is a sector that will pick up and home infusions are going to be an important part of that. Whether it’s measuring a patient’s vitals, drawing blood, collecting data, or infusions, there will be an imperative to do all of that remotely. And we also have to figure out how to reliably ship clinical trial experimental treatments directly to patients and confirm that they received it.
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