Clinovo’s Chief Technology Officer Marc Desgrousilliers was invited to discuss Cloud technologies on behalf of Clinovo at the 2014 December edition of the San Diego Clinical Research Network (SDCRN). Alongside representatives from life science companies Thermo Fisher Scientific and Neurocrine Biosciences, Marc presented his vision of Cloud Computing and how it affects the Life Sciences and clinical trial industry. Here’s a summary of the key points discussed during the conference.
In which capacity do Cloud technologies improve data capture and quality
All speakers agreed that digital data is growing exponentially worldwide and that it is deeply impacting Cloud technologies. A significant amount of data is generated each day which has led to the overall amount tripling during the last 3 years. In 2020, the overall amount of global data is expected to reach 40026 Exabytes (Billions of Gigabytes). This is a great opportunity for clinical trials and overall science experiments as they can be run from anywhere in the world using the latest and most advanced technology.
This next figure demonstrates the projected spending amount for Cloud computing in the global healthcare market. This significantly increasing forecast testifies of the Cloud computing trend in the life science industry and the benefits attached to it.
As of right now, an important amount of time and resources goes into the maintenance and management of the software in order to ensure data collection transcription and relevancy.
Taking advantage of the Cloud technology is a great opportunity for the life science industry. It ensures a reduction in the maintenance overhead needed for utilizing technology, and, in addition, reduces manual data collection. This lean management approach ultimately results in less human errors and therefore higher data quality. Processes can now be automated in order for scientists to spend more time in their research projects, advancing discovery in a more streamlined and expedient process. The IT infrastructure to handle the growing amount of data would also be significant for companies whereas Cloud technologies offer a very cost-effective alternative.
Automated technologies with the Cloud
While every stakeholder agrees upon the fact that Cloud technologies improve the overall clinical trial process, its implementation still represents a hurdle. There is always a discrepancy between the marketing vision of the Cloud and what it actually means on a technical level.
Cloud computing allows for on-demand access to a shared pool of resources that can be done with little effort or time. Cloud technology can be summarized by these 5 characteristics:
- On-demand self-service
- Network access
- Service level agreements
- Resource pooling
While more and more EDC solutions adopt Cloud technologies, choosing a Cloud-based EDC solution however requires even more precaution. Indeed, buyers need to make sure the system they’re looking at meets the regulatory compliance. Without this, they will not be able to ensure validation to support their clinical trial. Decision makers need to evaluate the EDC vendor and data safety by asking for proof of validation documentation, support for their hosted application, and data encryption and security measures in place.
Evaluating and choosing EDC systems
Choosing the right EDC vendor remains the final step in the adoption of Cloud for clinical trials. This part is obviously crucial and therefore requires time in order to thoroughly evaluate the best vendor for your clinical trial. Many vendors have described this step from a technical point of view, which clearly represents a major point of interest for the buyers, but vendors often forget the end user’s perspective. Indeed, the GUI and overall user experience is an essential topic that vendors should not put aside.
Another factor in the decision making process is the time and ease of implementation.These points are often underestimated by the buyers but the kick-off training length varies greatly between the vendors. ClinCapture, for example, requires a 2-day training program whereas other EDC systems require a whole week.
Overall, the benefits of Cloud-based EDC systems can be summarized in the following: Increased transparency between the stakeholders and real-time overhead into clinical trial operations and data, further communication and collaboration between investigators, sponsors, and partners. enhanced efficiency and reduced speed to conduct trials and cost-effectiveness. While the perks are clearly identified, choosing a system and implementing it still represents a barrier-to-entry that vendors need to tackle.
Marc Desgrousilliers – Chief Technology Officer at Clinovo – email@example.com
Joshua Elvert – Business Development Manager at Clinovo – firstname.lastname@example.org