Site sustainability is a top priority of VirTrial’s senior management. In fact, the genesis of the company was based on finding a way to help sites improve patient engagement and retention in clinical trials. VirTrial’s founder, Mark Hanley, is an industry veteran who most recently served as the CEO of Radiant Research/Synexus, the country’s largest wholly-owned network of clinical trial sites. Based on his 11+ years of site knowledge conducting more than 10,000 trials and enrolling hundreds of thousands of patients, Hanley recognized the need to find a better way to engage and retain patients in trials.
While other virtual trial providers are working toward a ‘site-less’ model where there are no physical sites to visit, all of VirTrial’s management team has a long history in the clinical research industry and understands the value that research sites provide. The Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) recently welcomed VirTrial as the newest member of their Global Impact Partner (GIP) program, where VirTrial plans to further collaborate with sites to create the most site- and patient-centric telehealth platform available.
The Undeniable Need for Sites in Clinical Trials
In the case of simplistic trials, such as those in the dermatology space where only observations of skin conditions are required, for example, it may be possible for a fully remote trial. However, the old adage applies, ‘just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be.’ Though entirely virtual trials increase efficiency in some ways, there is no replacement for human interaction. Even in the age of incredible technological advances, people often prefer talking face-to-face. And patient preference and satisfaction have a direct impact on whether or not patients stay in a trial or drop out.
Certain types of clinical trial visits, by law, must be conducted in person. Visits that include a physical examination or require certain medication to be dispensed are great examples. That doesn’t mean that virtual visits don’t have a place in these more complex trials. Virtual visits are ideal for visits that require things like blood glucose level monitoring which can safely and easily be accomplished remotely. Clinical research staff must continue to be available to answer questions during remote sessions and to meet patients in person for required on-site visits. Patients prefer options and there is a clear need for both in person and virtual visits in most trials.
The Site-Centric Hybrid Approach
VirTrial promotes a hybrid approach to virtual trials, combining in-person appointments with virtual visits. This approach is more flexible and better suits the protocols of most trials. VirTrial’s Patient Management Program benefits sponsors by reducing costs associated with dropouts and non-compliance, and adds convenience to patients by allowing remote visits using their own mobile devices. In addition, VirTrial is specifically customized to be site-centric. The platform streamlines the process for PIs and other site staff and provides multiple options for communication with patients.
VirTrial is particularly ideal for Phase 3 and phase 4 trials where the initial safety and dosing profiles have already been established. Because these trials tend to be longer in length and enroll a larger number of patients, retention and engagement are key to meeting their endpoints, something virtual visits can assist with. It is also well-suited for rare disease, oncology and pediatric trials, which often involve populations that don’t drive or who live in remote areas far from a research site.
VirTrial is dedicated to site-sustainability. Find out more about what VirTrial is doing differently to support sites. If you’re ready to talk to a clinical research professional about getting involved, or want to see a demo, contact us today.