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Home » Clinical Trials » Streamlining clinical trials: overcoming the diagnostics challenge

Hamish Grierson

CEO & Co-Founder, Thriva Solutions

As clinical trials become decentralised/hybrid with people increasingly taking part from home, a major challenge remains collecting samples for diagnostic testing.

Monitoring participants’ vital signs via wearable technology is becoming commonplace in clinical trials. Yet, the collection and analysis of diagnostics remains a logistical challenge. On-site tests require participants to visit a trial site — a burdensome request when they’re far away.

Consumer-centric technologies

CEO and Co-Founder of Thriva Solutions, Hamish Grierson, points to a wealth of exciting participant-centric technologies that are making trial participation more convenient. “It’s why decentralised clinical trials and (DCT) hybrid trials are gathering momentum,” he says.

“However, unless diagnostics follow suit, they will remain a real handbrake to innovation. If we cannot collect samples from participants at home, then there’s still a need to travel and attend physically.”

Self-sampling at home

“Diagnostics are the most cumbersome part of the participant experience,” adds Grierson. “We’re providing a solution to the challenge of omni-channel diagnostics. We enable multiple test types coordinated through a single, scalable platform,” he says.

The platform covers tests such as HbA1c, cancer subtyping and genotyping across core areas of metabolic disorders, genetics, liver disease, cancer and cardiovascular conditions. Self-sampling kits sent directly to participants for blood, urine, saliva and stool samples are returned to a network of carefully selected laboratories by post.

Software across the entire supply chain,
samples are linked to kits and individuals
to avoid errors or mismatched results,
providing end-to-end traceability.

Screening and recruitment

By running their own software across the entire supply chain, samples are linked to kits and individuals to avoid errors or mismatched results, providing end-to-end traceability. It also enhances the pre-recruitment screening process, encouraging a broader dataset from a more diverse population.

“The platform reduces trial costs and participant churn and enables more geographically varied participation,” he continues. “Being able to find the right people will only increase the calibre of the screening programme.”

Stage 1–4 and real-world evidence

Screening is not the only application for remote diagnostics within the clinical trial lifecycle. There are many other viable uses: pre-chemotherapy tests; post-market surveillance; companion diagnostics; dosage titration, etc.

At-home diagnostics advantages

The benefits of at-home diagnostics are extensive: improved participant experience; cost savings; greater diversity; improved convenience; reduced carbon impact due to reduced travel. Grierson concludes: “We are bringing clinical trials into the 21st century to ensure that pioneering treatments reach those most in need.”

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