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How will Clinical Trials be Transformed by Technology?

Technology has the potential to transform clinical trials by addressing limitations and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. This article highlights how and why technology can improve clinical trials and the benefits of using technology in this field.

Recruitment and enrollment: 

Technology can help researchers reach a larger and more diverse pool of participants through online platforms, social media, and mobile apps. This can speed up recruitment and enrollment, which can be a major bottleneck in clinical trials.

  • Online job postings: Technology allows companies to post job openings online, making it easy for job seekers to find and apply for positions from anywhere in the world

  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS): An ATS is software that helps manage and streamline the hiring process by automating tasks such as resume screening, scheduling interviews, and sending out notifications to candidates

  • Video interviews: Technology enables recruiters to conduct virtual interviews with candidates from any location, saving time and resources

  • Social media recruiting: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook provide recruiters with a way to find and connect with potential candidates quickly and efficiently

  • Online applications: Online application forms make it easy for candidates to apply for positions, and recruiters can use software to filter applications based on specific criteria

  • Virtual campus tours: Educational institutions can use virtual tours to showcase their campuses, facilities, and resources to prospective students, making the enrollment process more accessible

Data collection: 

Technology can enable remote data collection through wearable devices, mobile apps, and other digital tools. This can provide more accurate and continuous data on participants, which can lead to better insights into the safety and efficacy of interventions.


  • Identifying patient populations: By analyzing data on patient characteristics and disease profiles, researchers can identify patient populations that are most likely to benefit from new treatments. This can help to streamline the recruitment process and ensure that clinical trials are targeted to the patients who are most likely to benefit

  • Monitoring patient health: Data collection can help researchers to monitor patient health more closely and identify adverse events more quickly. This can help to ensure patient safety and provide more accurate data on the safety and efficacy of new treatments

  • Optimizing trial design: By analyzing data on past clinical trials, researchers can identify which trial designs are most effective for specific conditions and patient populations. This can help to optimize trial design and reduce the time and resources required

Monitoring and safety: 

Technology can facilitate remote monitoring of participants, which can help researchers detect adverse events and other safety issues in real time. This can improve patient safety and reduce the need for in-person visits.


  • Real-time monitoring of clinical trial participants: Technology can be used to continuously monitor the vital signs of clinical trial participants in real-time. This can help identify any adverse events or safety issues early on, allowing for timely intervention and potentially reducing the risk of serious complications

  • Remote monitoring of trial participants: Remote monitoring technology can enable trial participants to be monitored from their homes, reducing the need for them to visit a clinical site for check-ups. This can make participation in clinical trials more convenient and accessible and can also help reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Wearable devices for data collection: Wearable devices can be used to collect data on a range of parameters, such as activity levels, sleep patterns, and heart rate variability. This can provide a more comprehensive picture of a participant's health and can help detect any changes or trends that could be indicative of adverse events

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning: AI and machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze large amounts of data collected during clinical trials. This can help identify patterns or trends that might be missed by human analysts and can help identify potential safety issues early on

  • Electronic health records: Electronic health records can provide a centralized repository of information on trial participants, including their medical history, medications, and laboratory results. This can help ensure that participants are eligible for a trial and can help identify any potential safety issues

Data analysis: 

Technology can enable more efficient and sophisticated data analysis, including machine learning and other artificial intelligence techniques. This can help researchers identify patterns and insights that may not be visible through traditional statistical methods.


  • Electronic Data Capture (EDC) systems: EDC systems allow for the collection and management of clinical trial data electronically. They enable efficient data collection and real-time data monitoring, improving the accuracy and speed of data analysis

  • Clinical Trial Management Systems (CTMS): CTMS helps manage the planning, execution, and tracking of clinical trials. They provide real-time updates on the status of the trial, including recruitment, patient enrollment, and progress

  • Statistical Analysis Software: Statistical analysis software can help analyze clinical trial data, allowing researchers to identify trends, patterns, and relationships in the data. This can help determine the effectiveness of treatments and inform future research

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI): These technologies can help automate the analysis of clinical trial data, identify patterns that may not be immediately apparent, and assist in making predictions based on the data

Patient engagement: 

Technology can improve patient engagement and retention through personalized communications, gamification, and other strategies. This can improve the overall experience of participants and increase the likelihood that they will complete the trial.


  • Virtual consultations: Technology can enable remote consultations between patients and researchers, which can help reduce the burden of travel for patients and increase their engagement in the clinical trial. Virtual consultations can also improve patient access to medical care and information

  • Mobile applications: Mobile applications can provide patients with easy access to information about the clinical trial, including study procedures, timelines, and potential side effects. Apps can also help patients track their progress and communicate with the research team, improving patient engagement and adherence to the study protocol

  • Wearable devices: Wearable devices can help monitor patients' health status and activity levels, providing real-time data that can inform the clinical trial. This can help researchers make more informed decisions about patient care and treatment options

  • Social media: Social media can be used to engage with patients, provide updates about the clinical trial, and answer questions. Social media can also help patients connect with others who are participating in the clinical trial, providing a sense of community and support

Overall, technology has the potential to make clinical trials faster, more efficient, and more effective. However, there are also potential challenges and limitations, such as concerns about data privacy and security, the need for robust validation of digital tools, and the potential for bias in recruitment and data collection. Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate the benefits and risks of using technology in clinical trials and to design studies that maximize the potential benefits while minimizing the potential drawbacks.

Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences headhunting firm. To find out how we can assist with your business requirements, get in touch with George Hebden Lee at +44 203 854 7723.