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20th October 2023

Digital in clinical trials: More practitioners and more patients

Day 2 of the Med-Tech World Summit kicked off in an energetic fashion at the MCC.

Having already hosted the very first panel of the day, a discussion on clinical trials took to the Sacra Infermaria stage.

Moderated by radiologist and founder of Hexarad Group Dr Amy Davis, the panel included a wealth of knowledge from numerous industry-leading medical professionals.

Panel members included transplant access and general surgery consultant Rajesh Sivaprakasam, Sinead O’Connor an advisor to Trinity School of Medicin, Dr Mohid Khan Consultant in Gastroenterology and Digital Health Advisor, Paul Bhogal consultant interventional neuroradiologist who was also joined by Satu Peltonen, founder of inXso.

Are clinical trials outdated?

Dr Davis kicked off the discussion by asking the panel whether they believe that given the new digital technologies available, are clinical trials outdated.

Much to the moderator’s surprise, there was quite a unified consensus throughout the panel.

Dr Khan stated that in his opinion, certain aspects of clinical trials are certainly outdated, however, the fundamentals of the methodologies that remain in use today are probably still quite useful.

Factors such as learning what is useful, what is effective and what can add value are all of use when understanding what needs to be implemented to improve patient outcomes.

Digital technology

Sivaprakasm also weighed in bringing attention to the issue of inclusivity. He suggested that in order to garner better outcomes for both patients and doctors, the implementation of digital technology should be heavily considered.

This thought was added to by Pletonen who stressed that digital technology could form one part of the equation.

Clinical trials bring massive swathes of data and digital technologies could not only assist in collecting this data but also in standardising the findings.

Not all data is the same and the great variety of it could be standardised by numerous digital tools in order to develop solutions much faster.

For patients

A few points were also highlighted by the panellists regarding both the accessibility of clinical trials and the ability of patients to give feedback in relation to their participation.

Bhogal made reference to a panel discussion that occurred on day one of the Med-Tech World Summit just the day before, explaining that numerous professionals have been pushing for the inclusion of digital health wallets.

This would allow patients to store all their healthcare-related data as well as control this data for themselves.

This could then allow the data in question to be recycled and repurposed in further medical studies as Bhogal commented:

Attrition and accessibility

Accessibility was also an element that the panel agreed could make participating in clinical trials far easier.

Bhogal explained that clinical trials are usually incredibly complex and by helping patients understand what the process entails, digital technology could solve many of these complexities by repackaging this information.

This in turn improves attrition and participation in clinical trials as many more people can be informed in a far more effective manner.

Bhogal also expressed that more participation could be acquired when people become informed about how their contributions to a clinical trial can help others.

For the practitioner

The panel was then concluded when the discussion shifted to the benefits digital technology could have on practitioners.

Digital technologies can assist in making the processes involved with clinical trials far more efficient. Dr Khan explained that making workflows more effective would encourage more practitioners to make meaningful contributions to the space.

Further to this Peltonen also suggests that many aspects related to clinical trials could be taught through certain digital platforms, allowing many of the skills and understanding of the tools to be effectively disseminated across the sector.

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