Article at a Glance
Historically, clinical trials have faced challenges with patient recruitment, participation, and retention. Geography and other logistical constraints are common factors.
COVID put a greater spotlight on the need to meet patients where they are and really accelerated the focus on virtual care. This led to an important shift toward decentralized clinical trials, where patients could participate remotely.
At the start of the pandemic, Vault Health already had the infrastructure to step in and support clinical research at scale. Our network of licensed clinicians and flexible telehealth capabilities made improvements in clinical trial participation and patient experience possible.
At Vault Health, we started with a simple mission: To accelerate better health outcomes for people when and where they need it. Since then, we’ve leveraged our digital platform, clinical practice, and medical expertise to distribute innovative and efficient healthcare solutions broadly and at scale. Structure, convenience, and capabilities have played a pivotal role in Vault’s expansion into the clinical research space.
Clinical Research Has Seen Growing Demand for Decentralized Trials (DCTs)
Patient enrollment and retention have been recurring issues in the world of clinical research. In fact, it’s estimated that 85% of all clinical trials fail to recruit enough patients, and 80% are delayed due to recruitment problems. Geographical barriers are a key factor because many potential patients live at least two hours away from a study center where clinical trials typically occur. Taking a more patient-centric approach to clinical research, where eligible individuals can participate from the comfort of home, reduces logistical constraints and creates more opportunities for meaningful trials and quality care.
Vault Health’s Structure is Conducive to Clinical Research
The COVID pandemic put an ever greater spotlight on the issue of accessibility. Given the heightened risk for patients to travel in person to see a doctor, adoption of virtual care accelerated from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. As existing leaders in the telehealth space, there was a clear opportunity for Vault to leverage its technology to help improve access to accurate and reliable diagnostics -- including COVID testing -- that could help save lives, right from the privacy and safety of people’s homes.
Just one month after the pandemic began, we partnered with Spectrum Solutions to deliver the first at-home FDA EUA authorized saliva test for COVID-19. Our streamlined platform, easy-to-access technology, and efficient sample collection helped people stay safe and get important health information when they needed it most. Soon after, a major pharma company asked Vault to support a phase III clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Our existing infrastructure as a digital-first company enabled us to act quickly and with purpose. Beyond powering rapid and seamless clinical trials, we also provided sample facilitation and logistics expertise to support clinical study staff, sponsors, and contract research organizations in making the clinical trial more efficient and effective.
How Vault Plans to Support Clinical Research
We are absolutely embracing the shift toward decentralized trials because we know that this will help bridge the gap between clinical research and clinical care. As we focus intently on bringing care directly to the patient, we are also looking at innovative ways to partner with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medtech and other clinical research stakeholders in accelerating better health outcomes. Given that our existing network of licensed clinicians enables both virtual and at-home visits, and our expertise with diagnostics and data distribution, Vault is well-positioned to help build faster and more efficient trials that meet the needs of the post-pandemic participant population. Learn more about Vault’s clinical trials and research here.
BioPharma Dive. (2019, January 29) Decentralized clinical trials: Are we ready to make the leap? [online] Industry Drive. Available at: <https://www.biopharmadive.com/spons/decentralized-clinical-trials- are-we-ready-to-make-the-leap/546591/
Bestsennyy, O., Gilbert, G., Harris, A., & Rost, J., 2021. Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality? Dobbs, R., Manyika, J. and Woetzel, J., 2015. The four global forces breaking all the trends. [online] McKinsey & Company. Available at: <https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare- systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality> [Accessed 1 Oct 2021]
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2020, May 8). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes First Diagnostic Test Using At-Home Collection of Saliva Specimens. [Press Release] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19- update-fda-authorizes-first-diagnostic-test-using-home-collection-saliva