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Top 3 Life Sciences Predictions in 2021

eClinical’s Leadership on This Year’s Biggest Trends in Clinical Development

While there have been great strides recently in scientific discovery, the technology innovation and adoption that supports these advancements in life sciences still lags behind many other industries. What can we learn from trends across other industries that life sciences could benefit from? eClinical’s senior leadership discuss the top three predictions for this year and how they will impact clinical research in 2021 and beyond.

Prediction #1: Data Chaos Will Get Worse

Developments in patient tech are exciting, but they also have a direct impact on increasing data volume, variety and velocity. Companies will feel this challenge with decentralized trials coming of age, while data reviewers and statisticians will need to work harder and smarter to keep up.

Raj Indupuri, CEO

“As the decentralized model becomes more widely adopted, the data deluge will only increase, as more data from a variety of sources is collected. This will require improved technology infrastructures and the adoption of clinical data platforms like elluminate®. More than ever, life sciences companies are investing in new technology to evolve with a decentralized trial approach and deliver the power of data analytics to gain faster insights.”

Everett Rogers, Executive Vice President of elluminate Services

“There is tremendous opportunity to innovate with technology for the betterment of the life sciences industry and to support data management teams. I joined Medidata when the company size was about the same as eClinical’s, and there was a huge potential for growth at Medidata during that time. I see that same potential with eClinical, especially in the way that clients respond to the elluminate platform. Most data managers are not programmers, so it’s empowering that technology is giving them the ability to integrate data across sources and access analytics on demand.”

Rob Musterer, Vice President, Product Management

“We’re seeing companies looking to invest more in data management capabilities. As we’re getting more data sources coming in, there will be more of an emphasis on how we can support data managers in making sense out of this voluminous data. How can we apply AI and ML to make the jobs of data managers easier? Life sciences organizations are realizing that there is substantial opportunity to expedite processes, as shown with the development around the Covid-19 vaccines.“

Prediction #2: Digital Trials 2.0 Are Coming

By adapting the “Trial Product” to one that appeals to more potential participants, the industry can translate the awareness around the development process into more active recruitment, greater diversity and an overall increase in research participation.

Bob Arnesen, President and Co-Founder

“We’re at the convergence of healthcare and clinical data. I’m really excited for our future to connect those data streams into an ecosystem supported by technology and clinical data management platforms. By bringing healthcare data together with clinical trial data, we can help organizations find better sites and patients while getting access to better information across the board. Following the trend towards decentralized trials, platforms like elluminate are set up to consume that type of data across the continuum.”

Sheila Rocchio, Chief Marketing Officer

“Part of the trend in the digitization of the trial product is building the technology infrastructure to make it easier for people in more remote areas to access clinical sites. Life sciences companies will invest in this infrastructure so that there aren’t barriers to conducting trials in this way. This will drive the need for centralized clinical data platforms to pull all this data together along with analytics and real-time visibility to maximize the value of data.”

Rob Musterer

“There are new expectations in life sciences organizations about how we can substantially improve processes across the board for managing clinical trials in a decentralized model. People will be looking for new tools like elluminate to capture their specifications right within their environment. Now we can leverage AI technologies to establish connections between different data points, whether they come from structured data or unstructured data, and provide tremendous value to life sciences companies moving forward.”

Prediction #3: You Will Have More Frenemies

The commitment to data sharing and collaboration will remain strong. This trend will introduce new players into the industry and drive closer industry and regulatory ties.

Sam Anwar, Chief Technology Officer

“One of the top trends we’ll be seeing this year is data sharing and collaboration across different companies. This is something that we’ve always talked about in the industry, but the pandemic has really accelerated this movement significantly. Traditionally, companies have been protective of their data because they have invested millions or even billions of dollars into their clinical studies. But one thing that changed last year is that companies, researchers and scientists all over the world were eager to collaborate and share data in unprecedented ways. This willingness to share information will continue to increase this year and beyond. With more collaboration across the pharmaceutical industry, companies will increasingly require open systems with full integration capabilities so that systems can talk to each other and share standard data.”

Evan Grunbaum, Vice President, Quality and Compliance

“Right now, it seems like there’s a lot of red tape and additional burden governing our industry. You have different regulations in different countries and that’s going to have to start to harmonize. The onus is going to be on organizations to strengthen their programs and their practices around that area. Leveraging technology will be an important factor in that. As we move forward and from a global perspective, you have to be able to comply with the various regulations when they’re not consistent across the board.”

Sheila Rocchio

“We will continue to see new entrants in the market and new types of partnerships and acquisitions to meet the needs of this space. There are a lot of nontraditional players who are really interested in the healthcare space and life sciences, and the pandemic has been a motivating event to solve some of the challenges presented by patient recruitment and decentralized trial models. New partnerships will create more interesting user experiences all across the clinical ecosystem, which will become a driving force in life sciences innovation.”

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