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Technological advancements are occurring across all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry and advancing clinical trials via digitisation is no exception. But how this shift in clinical research is affecting different countries around the world may come as a surprise to some, particularly those who see the industry as being old fashioned and out-dated.

A recent survey by DrugDev, an innovative technology solutions company, delved into the workings of 572 clinical trial investigators from 11 countries around the globe and, using a 27-question online survey, gathered feedback on how they work, with a particular focus on their use of digital technology. Of those who responded to DrugDev, the majority were from the U.S., South Africa, Brazil, France, the U.K., Australia and India.

“We were hearing so much in the news and the clinical trial media about innovations in technology and cross-company collaborations – lots of new companies with an awful lot of very innovative stuff,” Claire Sears, director of Investigator Engagement for DrugDev told Clinical Informatics News.“But a lingering concern from my conversation with investigators was ‘Are sites ready for this?’”

The research found that 80% of respondents said their staff had access to a computer for the collection of clinical trial data, with the primary device used for collecting this being the desktop computer. Ninety two percent of respondents said their staff had access to either WiFi or the internet on site while 83% reported having internet access in rooms where patient exams were conducted, proving that through the use of new technologies clinical sites could soon work with greater efficiencies while cutting costs and time.

However, despite the increase in use of digital technologies during the clinical trials process there is still a way to go to see the industry fully-digitised. For example, tablets and iPads are much more mobile to use, offering more flexible working than desktop computers but are currently only being used by 23% of all respondents.

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