“Digital Healthcare” and “eClinical Trials” and “Virtual Wards” are all phrases we have heard more and more in recent months. More and more clinical research organizations and healthcare providers and sites have been adopting remote patient monitoring. This recent advancement in conducting how we work with and treat patients has led to a shift in how clinical trials are being designed (i.e., virtual, hybrid, decentralized, traditional), as well as how healthcare is interacting with and treating patients in general—and it is really exciting!
Using technology solutions, like Delve Health’s Clinical StudyPal platform, not only pushes us further into the future with features like automated workflows, which benefits staff by saving time, but also the site/sponsor because running more efficient operations saves costs. It also benefits patient participants by reducing their burden—and it benefits our planet by reducing our industry’s carbon footprint.
The healthcare industry accounts for 4.4 – 4.6% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and similar percentages of toxic air pollutants, putting it up there with the most carbon-intensive service sectors in the industrialized world.
The race to cut carbon emissions and reach net-zero by 2030 is on but to get anywhere near that goal in under ten years, healthcare needs a sustainability overhaul, and that includes clinical trials.
What Should You Consider When Adopting an eClinical or Digital Healthcare Platform?
One key benefit of going from paper to paperless data collection is eliminating some steps your staff is required to take on paper that actually does not provide any value. When moving from paper to an eSolution, taking a step back to assess your current workflows will help you understand which steps need to stay in your new automated, digital workflow, and which ones you can retire. One example of this is evaluating your delegation of authority workflows. Moving from paper to digital is a great time to implement a master delegation of authority process, boosting efficiency within your teams and greatly reducing the “PI signature chasing” that’s prevalent during the delegation process.
However, when transitioning from paper to digital, it’s important to understand that adopting a new technology platform to make your research more efficient for everyone is an investment. Be sure to ask how long it will take to integrate, implement, and launch your new system, as well as how your staff will be trained and receive tech support moving forward. If you invest the time to partner with your solutions provider how the solution needs to work to meet your team’s needs from the start, your staff will continue to reap the benefits infinitely into the future. In the long run, your studies will become more scalable and efficient, enabling your staff to do more and serve more participants for each study.
Additionally, not only is our study staff more efficient, our patients are more engaged and we have managed to not only reduce our usage of paper, but reducing the use of fossil fuels to travel for in-person visits—helping to do our part to enact environmentally-friendly policies that reduces our overall carbon footprint.
It should also be noted that our technology solution supports environmentally-friendly policies that have a positive impact on our climate. Paperless clinical trials are now possible with features like eScreening; ePRO/eCOA; eConsent with facial recognition; eDiaries, and real-world data collected via wearable devices and biosensors. Not only are we reducing our dependence on paper files, but the transportation to and from visits and the transportation to store files, as well as eventually saving us from the need to create waste by destroying outdated files—all these features and benefits result in more environmentally-friendly choices.
Have an upcoming clinical trial with virtual or hybrid components? Let the team at Delve Health show you the endless possibilities that are available via customizing our platform specifically to your clinical trial.