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Dr Amy Abernethy Outlines How Technology Is Improving Clinical Trial Participation

As clinical trials get more complex and fewer patients are available to participate in any particular trial, technology is going to be critical for improving patient access to trials and making the whole process of being on a trial easier for patients and physicians, explained Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, the chief medical officer, chief scientific officer, and senior vice president of oncology at Flatiron Health.


As clinical trials get more complex and fewer patients are available to participate in any particular trial, technology is going to be critical for improving patient access to trials and making the whole process of being on a trial easier for patients and physicians, explained Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, the chief medical officer, chief scientific officer, and senior vice president of oncology at Flatiron Health.

Transcript

How is technology improving patient access to clinical trials?

Technology is going to be critical for improving patient access to clinical trials. When you think about it, trials are getting more complex, the protocols are getting more complex, and also there are fewer patients for any particular trial that meet the right criteria. So technology is going to do a lot of the work of dealing with the complexity and making it easy for patients to find the right trial and then also for patients to be monitored across the trial. 

[There are] some practical ways that we're seeing that happen now, and also where I see that going in the future. First, technology is going to help with patient matching, because every patient being seen in the practice is continuously being screen for every trial that's available, and when the matching of the patient and the protocol happen, we'll be able to say that in near-real time and let the doctor and clinical team know.

Another way technology is going to help with the conduct of clinical trials and making it simpler, is by putting the forms for some aspects of the clinical trials, such as adverse event monitoring, directly into the health record. And also using data that is in the electronic health record cleaned up to be pushed into the clinical trials dataset so you don't have to key it in. It's already there and populating the dataset.

Finally, technology is going to help for keeping tabs on patients while they're on the trial, letting the study coordinator know what to do, making sure the doctors know what tests need to be ordered or followed up on, etc. So it will help to basically simplify workflows and make the process of being on a clinical trial easier for both patients and clinicians.

 
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