Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) perform many functions in patient interaction and drug supply chain management during clinical trials or research. They are in use for more than 15 years as a means of increasing efficiency in clinical trials. However, extensive use of these technologies has happened in the last 7-8 years.
Clinical trials are expensive and can take months or even years. There is a possibility of things going completely wrong at any stage.Clinical trials and research deal with huge information and data that needs to be managed effectively. An effective IRT minimizes risk, reduces timelines and cuts costs of clinical trials.
Modern IRT systems are web based and allow access any time 24 x 7 through a dependable Internet connection.
What a Good IRT System Does?
Research findings are based on the samples which are drawn from the population. Accuracy of results dependsuponthe selection of the most appropriate sample that is a true representative of actual population. In sampling for clinical research, the patient samples span multiple geographies and different demographics. IRT should be able to seamlessly co-ordinate and integrate data from different areas into a central lab for analysis.
Clinical trials often require changes mid-way. It is important to keep in mind the cost and time involved in case of any change. A good IRT system must respond faster and efficiently to anysuch changes.
An effective IRT system allows flexibility in managing complex and adaptive trials. At present, when rising costs of trials is the biggest concern of pharmaceutical companiesbecause of relatively few drugs coming to market this system can be of great help. Adaptive clinical trials increase efficiency by reducing time and cost. Theyallow compliant trials to be conducted across different patient population in a relatively shorter time frame.
The use of web interaction as compared to voice interaction is increasing in IRT. Many investigators prefer the web interface (IWR) over voice (IVR). Web interface allows design of a better response system which is aligned to requirements of a particular clinical study.Modern IRT systems should be able to keep pace with & accommodate innovations done by Clinicians and Statisticians in various types of study designs to improve efficiency and effectiveness of test medications. Use of mobile technology is also increasing in IRT designs, which allow remote capturing of data and improve information access.
Traditionally, IRT systems are stand alone, and they hardly interact with other systems used for clinical trials such as supply chain, study management, remote data capture systems. Integrating IRTs with other eClinical technologies is still a challenge. It is essential that these systems interact with IRT and ease sharing of information. Many clinical trials require integration of vendor systems within-house systems and are considered as the next big step in IRT development. A wider choice of infrastructure to run the clinical trials will be available when such integration happens.
As IRTs develop, they will have richness of functionality and intuitiveness. The systems would offer better integration with solutions developed by vendorsby leveraging mobile technology to capture information easily and effectively.