Clinical Trial Cloud Solutions
Stuart Henderson, IBM’s Americas life sciences R&D leader, believes that cloud computing for clinical trials has unique advantages. IBM offers “Clinical Cloud” to the drug development industry. The aim was to create a secure environment where partners can work together with quicker and easier access to data.
The company said that the Clinical Cloud has the requisite features for an “intelligent” platform: multitenant security, infrastructure, process integration and orchestration, a clinical application suite, compliance, analytics, collaboration, help and support, data sharing, and file sharing.
Multiple companies smaller than IBM are stepping into the clinical trials arena. Wipro Technologies offers Wipro Clinical Collaboration Portal to drug developers, CROs, clinical sites, and regulators. The aim is to “significantly improve collaboration capabilities for multiregion clinical trials.”
The Wipro platform was thus designed to reduce the clinical trial cycle time by 20–30%, the company reported. The portal speeds up communication and document exchanges among the sponsor organization, CRO staff, clinical site coordinators, and principal investigators.
PharmaPros provides technology solutions for data and workflow management in clinical trials. Its Dataflow Manager™ uses cloud computing, enabling trial managers to make more rapid and better-informed decisions during a trial.
“We now have data streaming in from many disparate sources: Interactive voice response systems, electronic data capture, ePRO, laboratory data, imaging data, safety signaling systems,” PharmaPros’ head of strategic development Brion Regan told GEN. “What we’re left with is a challenge to view clinical trial data holistically, in stream, and in time to make critical decisions about the conduct of the trial.”
“Because the data is broken up into disparate technologies and sources, the ability to quickly see trends, identify safety issues, or simply report on trial progress has become extremely difficult.” As a result, he noted, many life science organizations have taken on the herculean task of integrating all this disparate data into one repository in an effort to gain visibility.
This is not, in PharmaPros’ opinion, a realistic solution for in-stream trial management. It believes the focus should instead be on gaining visibility without moving data. “What we’re seeing is companies attempting to integrate data, only to discover it’s incomplete or not ready; then they try again. It’s become a burdensome cycle for statisticians. It’s also just extremely inefficient.
“For driving decisions and operations, clinical data doesn’t actually need to be integrated,” Regan noted. “Cloud-based solutions can leverage the information that resides in these disparate systems and deliver an integrated view of the data.”
Cloud-based computing has already become integrated into drug R&D at many levels. In spite of security and privacy concerns, the benefits of leveraging cloud computing in the clinical trial process have proven to be enticing to drug developers, CROs, clinical site managers, and others involved.
The ease of information sharing as well as enhanced collaborative and analytical capabilities are very attractive given the international nature of clinical trials. These advantages will prompt many companies to adopt it and adapt to it.