Virtual Clinical Studies
Many clinical studies fail at the initial stages of the study as enough volunteers do not participate in the planned period of the study or most of the volunteers drop out before the end of the study. These issues can be solved to a great extent by conducting a virtual clinical study which is a newly explored method for gathering the safety and efficacy from the participants. The volunteers in a virtual study can participate in a study without visiting the study site. This leads to higher participation and better engagement of the volunteers in the study.
In a virtual study, the drug is administered by study personnel at prescheduled visits to the volunteer’s home. The volunteer is reminded of the scheduled visit of the study personnel via a phone call, and if required, the visit can be rescheduled on another day in a specified period. Investigational products are directly delivered to the volunteers’ homes and nurses are sent to perform the examinations. Modern equipment (phone, watch, sensors, etc.) and social platforms are also used in a virtual study to collect patient data. The data can be viewed in real time by the study personnel, and changes can be made if required to the study.
Virtual studies are advantageous over traditional clinical studies; however, the application of a fully-virtual study is limited. Many clinical studies require a proper site to perform various complex assessments such as a magnetic resonance imaging scan and thus utilize a traditional study design only. Still, virtual clinical studies represent an efficient approach to the drug development process and may replace traditional clinical studies in the future.