The global pandemic has accelerated the shift of the clinical research ecosystem towards remote monitoring. Many organizations face various concerns when considering implementing remote monitoring. However, the process of implementing remote monitoring is no longer reversible.
The Florence 2021 State of the Industry* survey found that in 2020, 76% of sites and sponsors reported that more than 50% of monitoring visits took place remotely, compared to just 18% in 2019.
Changing the clinical trial landscape
Using technology platforms to connect sponsors, CROs and centers has created effective communication and data transfer that did not previously exist.
Centers that were already using electronic processes were better prepared to adopt new remote monitoring technologies or adapt to new monitoring workflows during a pandemic.
Remote monitoring technology streamlines workflow, improves efficiency, enables real-time surveillance, and reduces administrative burden.
Obstacles to selecting remote monitoring technology
A point of contention for sponsors and CROs is usually the requirements of their internal monitoring plan.
For example, if the monitoring plan requires source data review (SDR/V), the sponsor needs access to the EMR. If their chosen platform does not support SDR/V, this presents a significant challenge. Data** shows that direct access to the EMR is still only available in about 30-40% of cases.
Cost comparison between remote monitoring and on-site monitoring
On the surface, remote monitoring seems cheaper than on-site monitoring – and it often is. Remote document review eliminates the travel, lodging and meal costs that often accompany on-site monitoring visits.
In a survey of more than 100 clinical trial professionals conducted by IMARC***, 32% said remote monitoring slightly reduced their clinical trial costs, and 23% said the savings were significant. 25% said it had no impact on costs.
The cost of implementing monitoring software and then training staff is significant, but this cost is quickly recouped in the long run.