A total of 35% of healthcare professionals worldwide believe that digital transformation — involving the use of technologies such as AI, big data, cloud computing, application programming interfaces (API), and digital platforms — would improve both pre-clinical and clinical trials, according to a survey by GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that drug developers that had not considered virtual trials will have no option but to rapidly invest in this technology if they want to stay competitive.
The survey, which was published in GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Digital Transformation and Emerging Technology in the Healthcare Industry – 2021 Edition’, reveals that digitalization of pre-clinical and clinical trials was positively viewed by 39% of healthcare and pharmaceutical professionals in North America, also 39% in Europe and 28% in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, these results were in line with those found in both the 2019 and 2020 surveys.
Elton Kwok, Associate Research Manager in Pharma at GlobalData, comments: “While the digitalization of clinical trials had been well underway prior to COVID-19, the pandemic has accelerated this trend. These new technologies are helping reduce time, labor, costs, and other associated risk factors. Healthcare professionals are seeing the benefits of digital transformation in everything from patient selection and enrollment, to target identification, drug approval, data collection and analysis, supply chain management, marketing, and sales.”
Clinical trials are said to be one of the most critical and expensive stages in the drug development process. Planning and trial design, patient recruitment, site selection and coordination, logistic and operation, and the time needed, all constitute a significant cost.
Kwok adds: “Emerging technologies such as AI, Big Data, APIs, and digital platforms are expected to improve patient selection, enhance data collection, integration, and analysis, while at the same time reduce time, labor, and associated risks. Over 130 respondents to a survey by GlobalData*, believe that eventually total cost would be lowered. Their businesses would stay competitive in the market and business continuity could be maintained.”