Innovation is for the curious and those who love to experiment. Clinical trials are all about bringing innovation from bench to bedside. Historically, they have been restricted to the confines of physical buildings, headquartered in academic centres and heavily paper based. The result has been several unintended consequences, such as lack of diversity among human sample sets, high costs, and very long timelines. Some 80% of clinical trials fail to meet initial recruitment targets and deadlines.1 This is not good for science nor advancement. It also reduces access to the so-called ‘Trial Effect’ – where outcomes can be better for all enrolled. Now is the time to rocket boost digital democratisation of clinical trials and accept that not everything in trials can be digitalised. Clever boffins remain vital, but ideas will spread faster by leveraging digital recruitment, bespoke electronic trial IT, home monitoring, data storage and AI big data analysis (see Figure One). The clinical result will reduce bias, get faster results, and make the entire value chain more cost effective – hence a winwin for all those thinking of investing in this sector.
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