During a pandemic, routine clinical trials become much more complicated and slow down. The main reason is that doctors and medical works are overburdened, as well as the restriction of patient travel to research centers.
As the process of developing and testing new drugs remains equally critical, methods are now being introduced that will allow continuing clinical research without using up a lot of a doctor’s time and without endangering patients.
One such method is the use of electronic systems for collecting data in a clinical study (EDC systems).
The creators of the EDC system OnlineCRF will tell you exactly how this tool simplifies the conduct of clinical trials.
EDC systems are an electronic system in which the doctor enters and collects patient’s data (test results, health indicators, medical images) and more. The researcher does all this using an electronic interface without filling out paper forms.
Key Benefits of the EDC System for Pandemic Physicians
1. The ability to work from anywhere and any device.
EDC systems, in most cases, are an online tool that works through a browser. This means that you can enter data from any device that is connected to the Internet: PC, tablet, smartphone.
Investigators can enter data from home, a clinic, or anywhere else. At the same time, they have access to the EDC from any connected device.
2. Automatic data entry.
Most EDC systems can be integrated with various services for automatic data entry. Most often, these are laboratory databases. With this integration, patient test results are automatically transferred to the EDC system. This eliminates the need for the physician to manually enter all the results into the EDC system.
3. Help in completing the CRF.
During hard work in a pandemic, doctors do not always have the opportunity to spend even an hour entering information into the electronic system. Therefore, to speed up the process, EDC has an autocomplete or tooltip function.
As soon as the doctor enters the beginning of the word (symptom, illness) in the field, the system compares it with the internal dictionary and gives a hint. By clicking on the hint, the word is automatically entered. At first glance, it seems that it only saves a couple of seconds. But if the doctor has to enter the data of many patients, then such time saving is significant.
4. Assistance in research management.
EDC systems have a number of functions for conveniently organizing a doctor’s work in research. We are talking about the calendar of visits, and about automatic reminders. For example, the system may remind the doctor about a meeting (online or in the clinic) with the patient. Also, EDC controls the deadlines for the doctor to enter information into the system and reminds them about under-reported data. This removes the need for the researcher to plan the study on their own and to remember all the important deadlines.
Clinical electronic data collection systems are an excellent tool that facilitates the work of researchers in stressful times, such as in a pandemic. EDC systems help reduce the time spent working with clinical data, allow you to work on the study from any place and any device, and also help in the control and management of the project.